Despite a massive contraction at the beginning of the year, the first country hard-hit by COVID-19 is now seeing its economy roar back, with 4.9 percent growth year-on-year in the third quarter. That’s shy of forecasts from the beginning of 2020, but not by much, and China is expected to be the only major economy to continue growing this year. That’s boosting multinational companies that can rely on the Chinese market to bolster flagging sales elsewhere. The International Monetary Fund predicts the U.S. economy will shrink 4.3 percent and the eurozone 8.3 percent this year.
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2. Voter Registration Surges Ahead of US Election
With more than 27 million ballots already cast, states are reporting record voter registrations — which could potentially overwhelm online systems. Florida and Virginia have already extended their deadlines after outages kept people from registering online. As they prepare to debate one final time Thursday, President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden have been crisscrossing swing states like Nevada and North Carolina urging people to vote early. Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused Trump of inciting “domestic terrorism” after he egged on supporters chanting “Lock her up!” despite a recently thwarted right-wing plot to kidnap and potentially kill her.
3. Thousands Rally in France to Honor Beheaded Teacher
Holding signs reading “I am Samuel,” crowds in cities across France gathered to pay homage to Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher beheaded in a suburb of Paris by a Russian-born refugee teenager identified only as Abdoulakh A. The suspect was killed by police shortly after the attack, but 11 people have since been arrested in connection with the crime, including a parent who had complained that Paty showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class during a lesson about free speech. France is now reportedly preparing to expel 231 suspected extremists from the country in response.
Nine hours after polls closed yesterday, just 6 percent of votes had been counted — but socialist Luis Arce, the hand-selected successor to ousted former President Evo Morales, has already claimed victory and the current interim leader tweeted conciliatory congratulations to the left as “the winners.” That could reenergize South America’s left-wing movements, especially with poverty expected to rise steeply this year. Meanwhile, counting is underway in Guinea’s controversial presidential race. Results aren’t expected for several days, but challengers have insinuated that 82-year-old President Alpha Condé may be cheating his way to a third term.
Protesters in Chile have burned two churches on the first anniversary of their demonstrations demanding constitutional changes. Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s not surprised President Trump contracted COVID-19. And the average U.S. credit score actually rose during the recession, likely thanks to government financial assistance.
Coronavirus Update: Worldwide cases have now passed 40 million as the virus surges around the world.
Watch This: The future of film is here and it's Isabel Sandoval. The filmmaker — hand-picked and mentored by Ava DuVernay — shot the critically acclaimed Netflix drama she wrote, directed and stars in, Lingua Franca, in just 16 days. The transgender Filipina immigrant tells The Carlos Watson Show how she weaves her identity into her stories, but never lets it define them. Don't miss your chance to get to know this star before the rest of the world catches up.
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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What bonehead thought of this? The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology was forced to move its annual conference online this year due to COVID-19 — but the conference facilitator’s filter of swear words soon proved problematic for the scientists, as it banned the word “bone.” Other blocked words included ball, crack, hell, beaver, pubic and wang, despite the latter being a common surname. Conference attendees had to get creative to describe their work, but were eventually able to get the organizers to unblock individual terms.
2. Instagram Under Investigation for Child Data Use
Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner is investigating Instagram over its use of children’s data, after a loophole allowed personal phone numbers to be displayed. Meanwhile, Facebook official Nick Clegg said the company had rejected 2.2 million ads that attempted to “obstruct voting” in the upcoming U.S. election in a bid to show that the company has learned from the 2016 contest. The announcement comes after new reports last week found that Facebook changed its algorithm to specifically stifle left-leaning news sites like Mother Jones.
Normally zero-G is more their speed. But NASA has set aside $14 million of its $370 million 2024 moon landing budget for Nokia’s Bell Labs to create a lunar 4G network to aid navigation, control rovers and improve communication between astronauts. The moon network will differ from Earth’s significantly, in that it’ll have to withstand more extreme temperatures and radiation — though it also won’t have to worry about trees and TV signals getting in its way. Still, like Earth’s, the lunar network will be upgraded to 5G eventually.
After decades of being shut out of the high fashion halls, a huge crop of Black designers and creative directors has arrived. You can trace that back to Kanye West, whose deal with Adidas in 2013 opened doors for people like Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh, Shayne Oliver at Helmut Lang, and stars like Rihanna and Jay-Z to become fashion house creative directors themselves, OZY reports. And it’s not just behind the scenes: New York Fashion Week’s Spring 2021 shows this year saw a new high for diversity, with 57 percent models of color.
5. Dodgers Beat Braves for a Place in World Series
The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping this time’s the charm when they play in the World Series for the third time since 2017 — though they haven’t won it since 1988. Their seven-game NLCS against the Braves ended with a 4-3 win Sunday night as Cody Bellinger slammed a humdinger of a home run and superstar outfielder Mookie Betts robbed Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman of his own homer. The Dodgers face the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, when just 11,500 socially distanced fans will be allowed into the stands of Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.