Study of Late-Night Comics Finds Few Joe Biden Jokes, But Plenty for President Trump

From the perspective of late-night joke writers, there’s really only one person running for president.

A staggering 97% of the jokes Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon told about the candidates in September targeted President Donald Trump, a study released Monday found.

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Woman Missing for Two Weeks Found Safe in Zion National Park

A California woman who was missing for about two weeks in Zion National Park in Utah has been found and left the park with her family who had feared the worst, authorities said.

Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, of Los Angeles, was found Sunday by search and rescue crews after park rangers received a tip that she had been seen in the park, Zion National Park officials said in a news release. They didn’t say where she was found or anything about her condition or what had happened.

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Justices to Weigh Trump Census Plan to Exclude Noncitizens

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up President Donald Trump’s policy, blocked by a lower court, to exclude people living in the U.S. illegally from the census count that will be used to allocate seats in the House of Representatives.

Never in U.S. history have immigrants been excluded from the population count that determines how House seats, and by extension Electoral College votes, are divided among the states, a three-judge federal count said in September when it held Trump’s policy illegal.

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Suspect in Teacher’s Beheading in France Was Chechen Teen

A suspect shot dead by police after the beheading of a history teacher near Paris was an 18-year-old Chechen refugee unknown to intelligence services who posted a grisly claim of responsibility on social media minutes after the attack, officials said Saturday.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said authorities investigating the killing of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday arrested nine suspects, including the teen’s grandfather, parents and 17-year-old brother.

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WHO Study Finds Remdesivir Didn’t Help COVID-19 Patients

A large study led by the World Health Organization suggests that the antiviral drug remdesivir did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients, in contrast to an earlier study that made the medicine a standard of care in the United States and many other countries.

The results announced Friday do not negate the previous ones, and the WHO study was not as rigorous as the earlier one led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. But they add to concerns about how much value the pricey drug gives because none of the studies have found it can improve survival.

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Judge Finds Cases Against Five in Whitmer Plot Can Move Forward

Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.

A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme to abduct Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Awash in Red Ink: U.S. Posts Record $3.1T 2020 Budget Deficit

The federal budget deficit hit an all-time high of $3.1 trillion in the 2020 budget year, more than double the previous record, as the coronavirus pandemic shrank revenues and sent spending soaring.

The Trump administration reported Friday that the deficit for the budget year that ended on Sept. 30 was three times the size of last year’s deficit of $984 billion. It was also $2 trillion higher than the administration had estimated in February, before the pandemic hit.

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GOP Pushes Barrett’s Nomination Ahead, Dems Decry ‘Sham’

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination cleared a key hurdle Thursday as Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans powered past Democrats’ objections in the drive to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick before the Nov. 3 election.

The panel set Oct. 22 for its vote to recommend Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate for a final vote by month’s end.

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Harris Suspends Travel After Staffer Tests COVID-19 Positive

Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, will suspend in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for the coronavirus.

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said Thursday that the 77-year-old candidate had no exposure, though he and Harris spent several hours campaigning together in Arizona on Oct. 8, when the two people were on a flight with Harris. Both candidates have tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times since then, and Biden’s campaign said he tested negative again on Thursday.

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C-SPAN Suspends Scully After He Admits to Lie About Hack

C-SPAN suspended its political editor Steve Scully indefinitely Thursday after he admitted to lying about his Twitter feed being hacked when he was confronted about a questionable exchange with former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci.

The news came on the day of what was supposed to be a career highlight for the 30-year C-SPAN veteran. Scully was to moderate the second debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, which was canceled after Trump would not agree to a virtual format because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.

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Europe, US Reel as Virus Infections Surge at Record Pace

Coronavirus cases around the world have climbed to all-time highs of more than 330,000 per day as the scourge comes storming back across Europe and spreads with renewed speed in the U.S., forcing many places to reimpose tough restrictions they had eased just a few months ago.

Well after Europe seemed to have largely tamed the virus that proved so lethal last spring, newly confirmed infections are reaching unprecedented levels in Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and Poland, and most of the rest of the continent is seeing similar danger signs.

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After Independent Coronavirus Test, NBC Sets Trump Town Hall

NBC News agreed to put President Donald Trump before voters in a town hall event on Thursday after the president submitted to an independent coronavirus test with the results reviewed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The announcement Wednesday sets up dueling town halls with Democratic opponent Joe Biden on a night the two candidates were supposed to meet for their second debate. Biden is appearing on a similar town hall event in Philadelphia, televised by ABC.

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Mark and Patricia McCloskey Plead Not Guilty

A St. Louis couple celebrated in some circles and vilified in others for waving guns at protesters marching on their private street pleaded not guilty to two felony charges at a brief hearing Wednesday.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who are both attorneys in their early 60s, were indicted by a St. Louis grand jury last week on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence. They will appear in court again Oct. 28.

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Supreme Court Halts Census in Latest Twist of 2020 Count

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can end census field operations early, batting aside a lawsuit that warned the truncated schedule will lead to minorities being undercounted in the crucial once-a-decade head count.

Still, the decision was not a total loss for the plaintiffs, who managed to get two extra weeks of counting people as the case challenging the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to end the census in September made its way through the courts.

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FBI: Groups Also Discussed Kidnapping Virginia Governor

Members of anti-government paramilitary groups discussed kidnapping Virginia’s governor during a June meeting in Ohio, an FBI agent testified Tuesday during a court hearing for a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor.

Special Agent Richard Trask also revealed new details about investigators’ use of confidential informants, undercover agents and encrypted communication to arrest and charge six men last week in the plot aimed at Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Microsoft Attempts Takedown of Global Criminal Botnet

Microsoft announced legal action Monday seeking to disrupt a major cybercrime digital network that uses more than 1 million zombie computers to loot bank accounts and spread ransomware, which experts consider a major threat to the U.S. presidential election.

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West Virginia Site Chosen for High-Speed Hyperloop Travel Facility

Virgin Hyperloop One will build a certification center in West Virginia for the high-speed transportation concept that uses enclosed pods to zip passengers underground at over 600 mph (960 km/h).

The company had received bids from more than a dozen states in the past year to build a 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) testing track and other safety facilities over hundreds of acres for the electromagnetic levitation transportation technology.

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Delta Adds Insult to Injury in Hurricane-Ravaged Louisiana

The day after Hurricane Delta blew through besieged southern Louisiana, residents started the routine again: dodging overturned cars, trudging through knee-deep water to flooded homes with ruined floors and no power, and pledging to rebuild after the storm.

Delta made landfall Friday evening near the coastal Louisiana town of Creole with top winds of 100 mph (155 kph). It then moved over Lake Charles, a city where Hurricane Laura damaged nearly every home and building in late August. No deaths had been reported as of Saturday afternoon, but officials said people were not out of danger.

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Trump Official Says Vaccine Expected Starting in January

A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the president that inoculations could begin this month.

And a growing, bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, experts and public health officials says the country is ill prepared for a projected winter surge of COVID-19.

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Police Arrest Dozens of Protesters After Officer in Floyd Death Released on Million Dollar Bond

Fifty-one people were arrested during protests Wednesday after a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd was released on bail.

Derek Chauvin had been in custody in a Minnesota prison as he awaits a March trial on charges of murder and other counts. He was released Wednesday after posting a $1 million bond. He had been held in a state prison instead of a local jail for security reasons.

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Michigan Governor Blames Trump After 13 Charged in Kidnap Plot

Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others were charged in state court under Michigan’s anti-terrorism laws for allegedly targeting police and seeking a “civil war.”

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Trump Administration to Sharply Limit Skilled-Worker Visas

The Trump administration announced plans Tuesday to sharply limit visas for skilled workers from overseas, a move officials said was a priority amid job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor officials said new rules for what’s known as the H1-B program will restrict who can obtain a work visa and will impose additional salary requirements on companies seeking to hire foreign workers.

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Boeing Says Pandemic Will Cut Demand for Planes for a Decade

Boeing is lowering its expectations around demand for new planes over the next decade as the coronavirus pandemic continues to undercut air travel.

The company on Tuesday predicted that the world will need 18,350 new commercial airplanes in the next decade, a drop of 11% from its 2019 forecast. The value of that market will slide by about $200 billion from last year’s forecast, to $2.9 trillion.

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Chris Christie Hospitalized with ‘Mild’ Virus Symptoms

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tweeted Saturday that he’s checked himself into a hospital, hours after he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Christie said that after consulting with his doctors, he went to Morristown Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. He said he’s only experiencing mild symptoms.

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‘Out of an Abundance of Caution:’ Trump Goes to Walter Reed Medical Center

President Donald Trump will spend a “few days” at a military hospital after contracting COVID-19, the White House said Friday, as the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government. Trump “remains fatigued,” his doctor said.

Trump was to depart the White House by helicopter late Friday for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The White House said the visit was precautionary and that he would work from the hospital’s presidential suite, which is equipped to allow him to continue his official duties.

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NFL Postpones Steelers-Titans After Two More Positive Tests

The NFL postponed Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers game at Tennessee until later in the season after one additional Titans player and one personnel member tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement Thursday came one day after the league said it hoped to play the game on Monday or Tuesday. The NFL said a new game date would be announced “shortly.”

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California to Study Reparations for Black Americans

California will develop a detailed plan for reparations under a new law signed on Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, making it the first state to mandate a study of how it can make amends for its role in the oppression of Black people.

The law creates a nine-member task force to come up with proposals for how the state could provide reparations to Black Americans, what form those reparations might take and who would be eligible to receive them.

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Judge Approves $800M Payout Plan for Vegas Shooting Victims

A court on Wednesday approved a total of $800 million in payouts from casino company MGM Resorts International and its insurers to more than 4,400 relatives and victims of the Las Vegas Strip shooting that was the deadliest in recent U.S. history.

The action makes final a deal announced earlier this month and settles dozens of lawsuits on the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 850 at an open-air concert near the Mandalay Bay resort.

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Outbreak in the NFL: Three Tennessee Titans Players, Five Personnel Test Positive for COVID-19

The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4.

The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and posed the first significant in-season test to the league’s coronavirus protocols.

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Court Pick Barrett Visits Senate Ahead of Confirmation Fight

President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a day of meetings with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other pivotal Republican senators in preparation for her fast-track confirmation before the Nov. 3 election.

Joined by Vice President Mike Pence, McConnell said he was glad to welcome Barrett and “get the process started” on her confirmation. But the Republican leader declined to answer questions about whether the judge should recuse herself if legal challenges to the election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden land at the high court.

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Debate Takeaways: Pugilist Trump Runs Rings Around Debate Opponents Biden and Wallace

After more than a year of circling each other, Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden met on the debate stage Tuesday night in Ohio.

The 74-year-old president and the 77-year-old former vice president are similar in age, and they share a mutual dislike. But they differ starkly in style and substance. All of that was evident from the outset on the Cleveland stage.

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Kuwait Ruler, Longtime Diplomat Sheikh Sabah, Dies at Age 91

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the ruler of Kuwait who drew on his decades as the oil-rich nation’s top diplomat to push for closer ties to Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises, died Tuesday. He was 91.

In a Middle East replete with elderly rulers, Sheikh Sabah stood out for his efforts at pushing for diplomacy to resolve a bitter dispute between Qatar and other Arab nations that continues to this day.

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Fredericksburg Slave Auction Block Set to be Displayed in Museum

A 176-year-old stone block that was used for slave auctions in Virginia will go on display at the Fredericksburg Area Museum, with signs explaining the context of recent protests against racial injustice that left it covered in graffiti.

The knee-high stone block sat for nearly two centuries in downtown Fredericksburg until the city removed it recently. Now it’s on loan to the museum, which will put in on display by mid-November, with the graffiti still intact, The Free Lance-Star reported Sunday.

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Amazon to Kick Off Holiday Shopping with October Prime Day

Amazon is aiming to kickstart the holiday shopping season early this year.

The company is holding its annual Prime Day over two days in October this year, after the pandemic forced it to postpone the sales event from July. It’s the first time Prime Day is being held in the fall, and Amazon is positioning it as a way to get people to start their holiday shopping.

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Trump, Biden Prepare to Debate Tuesday as National Tensions Rise

In an election year like no other, the first debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, could be a pivotal moment in a race that has remained stubbornly unchanged in the face of historic tumult.

The Tuesday night debate will offer a massive platform for Trump and Biden to outline their starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including racial justice protests and a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.

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California Braces for Power Shutoffs and Warm, Windy Weekend

Firefighters and officials at California’s largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones.

Pacific Gas & Electric warned Friday it may cut power from Sunday morning to Monday, potentially affecting 97,000 customers in 16 counties, during which forecasters said a ridge of high pressure will raise temperatures and generate gusts flowing from the interior to the coast.

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Oregon Governor Sends State Police to Portland for Protests

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency Friday as she announced that state troopers and sheriff’s deputies would be sent to Portland through the weekend to help police, in the state’s largest city, monitor a weekend rally by the right-wing group Proud Boys and counter protests by liberal groups

Portland has been roiled by often violent protests for more than three months following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Trump Picks Conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, capping a dramatic reshaping of the federal judiciary that will resonate for a generation and that he hopes will provide a needed boost to his reelection effort.

Republican senators are already lining up for a swift confirmation of Barrett ahead of the Nov. 3 election, as they aim to lock in conservative gains in the federal judiciary before a potential transition of power. Trump, meanwhile, is hoping the nomination will serve to galvanize his supporters as he looks to fend off Democrat Joe Biden.

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Former Congressman Ron Paul Hospitalized, Says He’s Okay

Former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul posted a picture of himself in a hospital Friday but said he was OK after video circulated online of him struggling to speak during an interview.

The 85-year-old former Texas congressman, who ran for president three times, posted a picture on Facebook showing him smiling in a hospital gown and giving a thumbs-up. “I am doing fine. Thank you for your concern,” he said.

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Health Officials Seek to Block Trump Rally in Virginia

A Virginia health official is warning of a “severe public health threat” if a planned campaign rally for President Donald Trump goes forward Friday evening.

Dr. Natasha Dwamena, a Department of Public Health district director, said in a letter Thursday that the 4,000 people expected to attend Trump’s rally at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport would be breaking Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order generally banning gatherings of more than 250 people. She said the rally should be canceled, rescheduled or scaled down to comply with the governor’s order.

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Senate GOP Lines up with Trump to Quickly Fill Court Seat

Senate Republicans have swiftly fallen in line behind President Donald Trump’s push to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat as one of the last holdouts, Sen. Mitt Romney, said Tuesday he supports a vote despite Democrats’ objections it’s too close to the Nov. 3 election.

Trump, who will announce his nominee Saturday, is all but certain to have the votes to confirm his choice.

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Robert W. Gore, the Inventor of Gore-Tex Fabric, Dead at 83

Robert W. Gore, whose invention of what created the breathable-yet-waterproof fabric known as Gore-Tex revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, has died. He was 83.

Gore, who was president of W. L. Gore & Associates for almost 25 years and company chairman for 30 years, died on Thursday at a family home in Maryland following a prolonged illness, company spokesperson Amy Calhoun confirmed Saturday.

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Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

The Justice Department explored whether it could pursue either criminal or civil rights charges against city officials in Portland, Oregon, after clashes erupted there night after night between law enforcement and demonstrators, a department spokesperson said Thursday.

The revelation that federal officials researched whether they could levy criminal or civil charges against the officials — exploring whether their rhetoric and actions may have helped spur the violence in Portland — underscores the larger Trump administration’s effort to spotlight and crack down on protest-related violence. The majority of the mass police reform demonstrations nationwide have been peaceful.

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