ELECTION: Everyone’s talking about the election. Think: around 60 million Americans have already voted - more than the total number of early or absentee ballots that were cast in 2016. You read that right. So far, most of those votes appear to be from registered Dems. All those mail-in ballots are also raising some concerns about when the election result will be known. Enter: Facebook. The biz is prepping to use an internal playbook that it developed for “at-risk” countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka, just in case there’s any election unrest. And in other news, the Senate is poised to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court today. Aka eight days before the election.
CORONAVIRUS: The US just made a new coronavirus record. As in the country averaged 69,000 cases per day over the past 7 days - surpassing the previous record set back in July. Cue new concerns about strained resources. On that note: at least five of Vice Prez Mike Pence’s aides have tested positive for the virus over the past few days. At this time, it looks like Pence doesn’t have any plans to stop going out and campaigning. This comes as White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declared that the US is “not going to control the pandemic.” Instead, the gov’s just going to focus on getting out a vaccine and treatments - even though it’s likely a vaccine won’t be widely available until next year. Meanwhile, China’s planning to test an entire city of millions of people after one person tested positive.
WORLD: Recently, reports revealed that Russia airstrikes in northern Syria have killed more than 50 Turkish-backed militia fighters. Most of the deaths were in the rebel-held city of Idlib. Reminder: for about a decade, Syria’s been locked in a civil war that’s killed hundreds of thousands of people and pitted rebels (some backed by the US) against the Syrian gov (backed by Russia). Stay tuned. In other news, over the weekend, Turkish Prez Recep Tayyip Erdogan said French Prez Emmanuel Macron needed “some sort of mental treatment” over his attitude towards Muslims in France. Then added that Macron doesn’t believe in freedom of religion. In response, France recalled its ambassador to Turkey. And meanwhile, there’s outrage after women were strip-searched on a Qatar Airways flight in an attempt to find a baby’s mother.