They came before dawn to stand in line, some with folding chairs. In a number of states, including Georgia and Texas, known for long lines that many blame on voter suppression, voters lined up across parking lots to cast early ballots. Far outpacing 2016 early voting, an estimated 11 million Americans have already voted in the presidential contest. At the same time, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to stop the pandemic-impaired 2020 Census tomorrow — something plaintiffs argue could have profound effects on how congressional and local representation is apportioned for future elections.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett yesterday avoided addressing key issues that might come before the court, but said she wouldn’t be “used as a pawn to decide the election,” as President Donald Trump has implied. But she also refused to pledge to recuse herself from ruling on the Nov. 3 contest. It was the 48-year-old federal appeals judge’s first day of testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Democrats sought to portray her virtually assured confirmation as a death blow to Obamacare. Barrett countered, “I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act.”
Baby steps. While continuing to elect a rogues’ gallery of abusive nations to its Human Rights Council, the United Nations yesterday did make a surprising omission: Saudi Arabia fell short of the votes needed for membership. Human Rights Watch hailed the exclusion, noting the gruesome 2018 murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But it called for more competition, rather than the use of “backroom deals” to elect China — known for imprisoning Muslim minorities en masse and denying rights in Tibet and Hong Kong — as well as Russia and other nations with long rap sheets.
4. WTO Allows EU to Retaliate for Boeing Subsidies
It’s another sortie in the trans-Atlantic air war. The World Trade Organization yesterday ruled that the European Union may impose tariffs on $4 billion in U.S. goods to compensate for Washington’s subsidies for Boeing. It’s a smaller sum than the Trump administration wrested from the world body a year ago, when the WTO approved tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European goods over the government support enjoyed by Airbus, Boeing’s only serious competitor. EU officials plan to use the decision as leverage in talks with American trade reps, so actual tariffs won’t be imposed right away.
The “unmasking” probe commissioned by U.S. Attorney General William Barr, which supporters of President Trump hoped would discredit the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s dealings with Russia, has ended with no criminal charges or public report. Firefighters are battling a wildfire on Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. And as he tries to win back senior voters, President Trump tweeted a meme mockingly touting rival Joe Biden for (nursing home) “resident” rather than “president.”
OZY's #ResetAmerica campaign wants to hear new and diverse perspectives. Today, meet the mind behind Netflix's new indie hit. Handpicked by Ava DuVernay, Merawi Gerima is one of the fastest rising stars of the filmmaking world. His new movie, Residue, is a story about gentrification and policing that meets the moment. Watch The Carlos Watson Show now to learn about this passionate auteur bringing Black stories to life. Tell us what you think of Gerima's story on social by using #ResetAmerica.
Did you know that only 44 percent of eligible Americans voted in 2016? VoteAsIf.org aims to change that, ensuring that every citizen is heard and helps shape the nation’s future. Check out VoteAsIf.org’s tools to learn how you can register in any state, the requirements for voting and even whether you’re registered properly. And for those who would like to help spread the word, the organization is also taking donations. Be sure to vote as if …
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Its theme was love: A Muslim woman escorts her Hindu daughter-in-law to a baby shower and adorns her with a gold necklace. But popular jewelry chain Tanishq pulled the ad for its “Ektavam” (Sanskrit for "oneness") line from social media Tuesday after #BoycottTanishq posts blasted the portrayal of an interfaith family, using the Hindu nationalist refrain of “love jihad,” which accuses Muslims of conversion via marriage. Prominent Indians defended the ad, with opposition Congress Party MP Shashi Tharoor calling detractors “bigots” and suggesting they instead boycott “the longest surviving symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity in the world — India.”
“Don’t be afraid of COVID.” That’s what President Trump has been saying after hosting superspreader events and becoming infected, and now the White House has embraced the “herd immunity” strategy of dealing with the pandemic. But most medical experts say it’s dangerous, even unethical, to let the virus run rampant in lower-risk young populations while “aggressively protecting” older and otherwise vulnerable people. Among those decrying the idea, which resulted in high death rates in Swedish nursing homes, are the World Health Organization and the head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
They’re not belting out “The Internationale,” but it’s a start. In July, Singaporeans elected 10 members of the Workers’ Party to Parliament. While that didn’t exactly break the back of capitalism in the business paradise, it forced the People’s Action Party, which has ruled exclusively for 55 years, to face its first-ever opposition leader, Workers’ Party MP Pritam Singh, OZY reports. Like U.S. socialist undercurrents, Singh’s party is riding a growing demographic of young and minority voters struggling to survive in an expensive society. While they can’t outvote Singapore’s leaders, the new kids can at least make them listen.
Is this curtains? On the heels of rival Regal closing theaters amid a dearth of new releases, America’s largest cinema chain, AMC Theaters, says it may be drained of cash by the end of 2020. While it’s reopened 494 of its 598 U.S. locations, attendance is limited by social distancing and is down 85 percent, and major markets like Los Angeles and New York City remain closed. If AMC can’t get more people into its theaters, the company says it will be forced to take on additional debt, sell off assets or pursue other sources of liquidity.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo Tests Positive Amid UEFA Title Fight
The Juventus striker, one of the world’s top soccer players, has tested positive for the coronavirus. His national team, Portugal, was a top contender for the UEFA Nations League tournament, but its hopes have dimmed as Ronaldo joins two teammates on the COVID-19 bench. The 35-year-old superstar won’t take the field against Sweden today, and he’s also likely to miss upcoming games with Juventus, his Italian pro team. Meanwhile, world No. 1 golfer Dustin Johnson yesterday became the 12th PGA Tour player to test positive, withdrawing from the CJ Cup in Las Vegas, which begins tomorrow.