The World Food Programme just won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for "acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon."
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1. Kidnapping plot
Thirteen people have been charged in an alleged domestic terrorism plot to overthrow several state governments and kidnap state officials, including Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Several suspects associated with a militia group called the "Wolverine Watchmen" were allegedly gathering intel on local law enforcement and training to attack the Michigan capitol building. Whitmer thanked FBI agents for foiling the plot and called out President Trump for "giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division." Trump and some conservative supporters have long criticized Whitmer for her stricter-than-average approach to coronavirus restrictions. There has been a nationwide increase in vigilante and militia activity in the wake of widespread protests and general political uncertainty, and concerns loom that militia groups will try to intimidate voters as the election nears.
The US is averaging more than 45,000 new Covid-19 positive tests a day, more than double what it saw in June. It's an ominous increase that's stoking even more concern for a potentially devastating winter. The CDC predicts deaths in the US could reach 233,000 by the end of this month, and projections from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show more than 2,900 Americans could die daily by January. Vaccine efforts are revving up around the world to prevent such tragic outcomes. China just joined the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative, which aims to provide global access to effective Covid-19 vaccines. More than 75 high-income countries have committed money to the project. The US, which severed its ties to WHO, and Russia are not among them.
3. White House
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing a new bill that would give Congress a role in determining whether the US President must be forced out of office if he or she is incapable of doing the job. The measure stands virtually no chance of becoming law. But President Trump's erratic behavior following his coronavirus diagnosis and the secrecy surrounding his recovery have led to increased discussion among his opponents about whether he is fit to carry out his duties. Meanwhile, Trump has said he will not participate in the next debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates changed next Thursday's debate to a virtual format due to the President's Covid-19 diagnosis. It's not clear what happens next. An in-person debate could be scheduled after Trump's required quarantine period is over, or Joe Biden could end up doing the next debate solo, in a town hall format.
After publicly calling for a halt to bipartisan stimulus negotiations this week, President Trump now says he is, in fact, interested in a large-scale deal. Congress is still seemingly far away from reaching a stimulus package that satisfies everyone. Rep. Pelosi has rejected piecemeal bills from the GOP to address specific problems, including one yesterday to revive the struggling airline industry. Democratic leaders want a comprehensive stimulus deal instead. As both sides struggle to come to an agreement, the economy remains in anxious limbo. First-time jobless benefit claims -- an indication of general unemployment numbers -- remain about four times as high as they were before the pandemic.
5. Hong Kong
Activists are accusing Hong Kong's government of colluding with China to surveil and apprehend fugitives fleeing the city to escape increasing political crackdowns. The claims arose after 12 Hong Kongers were caught trying to reach the self-governing island of Taiwan. Most of them were on bail or facing charges related to last year's anti-government unrest. They are now being detained in China and could face serious national security charges. Activists have concluded that Hong Kong knew of their escape and deliberately let the fugitives be apprehended by authorities in mainland China, thereby exposing them to harsher penalties. Several prominent political activists have fled the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong over a national security law that criminalizes sedition, secession and subversion.
A fly is the breakout star of the vice presidential debate
We really will find amusement in anything, won't we?
Dollar General to open new stores targeting wealthier shoppers
The new stores will feature goods priced around $5. So, Five Dollar General?
People are buying more pizza during the pandemic ...
... But it also costs more for restaurants to make them and maintain a clean facility, so it's a win/lose deal.
'The West Wing' cast is reuniting
This headline is very confusing if you forget that "The West Wing" is a TV show.
There have been sightings of a hairy, venomous caterpillar in Virginia
All together now: NO MORE SCARY BUGS IN 2020!
That's how many people watched the vice presidential debate, according to Nielsen.
The whole time these entities knew that by pressing the 'go' button, kids would get very sick and their lives would be forever changed. But the potential profits seemingly outweighed the known risks, and greed, money and power won out.
Corey Stern, attorney for plaintiffs suing three investment banks for their alleged role in underwriting a deal for Flint, Michigan, to change water sources, leading to the ongoing water crisis
Another storm approaches
Hey Siri, tell me about parakeets
If Siri were a person, she would be EXTREMELY confused by this talkative parakeet's many, many questions for her. (Click here to view.)