President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are set to square off in their final debate Thursday, one of the last high-profile opportunities for the trailing incumbent to change the trajectory of an increasingly contentious campaign. Worried about losing the White House, some advisers are urging Trump to trade his aggressive demeanor from the first debate for a lower-key style that puts Biden more squarely in the spotlight. Biden, who has stepped off the campaign trail in favor of debate prep, expects Trump to get intensely personal.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading on flights appears "very low" but cannot be ruled out, despite studies showing only a small number of cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Global airlines body IATA said on Oct. 8 that only 44 potential cases of flight-related transmission had been identified among 1.2 billion travellers this year, or one in every 27 million passengers.
Hopes of ending nearly a month of bloodshed in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh looked slim on Thursday as Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces fought new battles on the eve of talks in Washington. Plans for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia on Friday raised hopes this week that the two former Soviet republics would agree to end their deadliest fighting since the mid-1990s. Hundreds of people have been killed since fighting flared on Sept. 27, raising fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey and Russia and increasing concern about the security of pipelines in Azerbaijan that carry Azeri gas and oil to world markets.
Question swirled Thursday about the origins of Pope Francis’ bombshell comments endorsing same-sex civil unions, with all evidence suggesting he made them in a 2019 interview that was never broadcast in its entirety. The Vatican refused to comment on whether it cut the remarks from its own broadcast or pressured the Mexican broadcaster that conducted the interview to follow suit. In the movie, which was shown at the Rome Film Festival, Francis said gay people have the right to be in a family since they are “children of God.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate as Republicans powered past Democrats' boycott of the session. Democratic senators refused to show up in protest of the GOP's rush to install President Donald Trump's nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Never has the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court nominee so close to a presidential election.
Russia has started opening temporary clinics and repurposing hospitals in the capital to cope with the rising numbers of coronavirus patients, Moscow's deputy mayor said on Thursday, as the nationwide death toll from the virus passed 25,000. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko went into self-isolation after a family member tested positive for the novel coronavirus, news agencies cited one of his aides as saying. President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday no blanket restrictions were planned to combat the spread of the disease.
Ethiopia can jail people for up to two years if they deliberately violate restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the attorney general's office said, amid concern that citizens are becoming lax after a state of emergency was lifted. The restrictions prohibit shaking hands, not wearing a mask in a public place, seating more than three people at a table or not keeping "two adult steps" - around six feet - apart . "Now it is as if COVID is no longer there, the public is not taking care," Health Minister Lia Tadesse tweeted on Thursday.
The Republican-led U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved President Donald Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to a lifetime U.S. Supreme Court seat despite a Democratic boycott of the meeting, clearing the way for a full Senate debate and vote on confirmation. By a vote of 12-0, the panel approved Barrett with all Republican members voting yes and the 10 committee Democrats boycotting the meeting. "This is a groundbreaking moment" for conservatives, Graham said before the vote began.
New Delhi [India], October 22 (ANI): As of Thursday, a total of 19.40 lakh Indians have been repatriated through the 'Vande Bharat' mission, informed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today.
U.S. President Donald Trump's bank account in China raises serious national security concerns, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday following a New York Times report revealing the previously undisclosed account. Pelosi cited the Chinese government's ties to its financial industry and said Trump's banking there risked his exposure and opened him up to vulnerabilities. "They can watch the flow of money there and perhaps have some, shall we say, sway over the person who's taking money or putting money into that account so it is a national security issue," she told MSNBC in an interview.
The Vatican and China on Thursday renewed an agreement on the appointment of bishops in China and the Vatican promised to push the communist government to allow more freedom of religion. The accord gives the pope the final say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, and the Chinese government allows all of them, including those hailing from a state-backed Church, to recognise the pope's authority.
Voting began on Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections in Seychelles, with the economy battered by COVID-19 and President Danny Faure, in power since 2016, facing voters for the first time. The Indian Ocean archipelago nation is expected to see its tourism-dependent economy contract by 14% this year, according to ratings agency Fitch, reversing some fragile progress since the government defaulted on its debt in 2008 and sought an International Monetary Fund bailout. An opposition coalition captured parliament in the 2016 election, but has since split.
Russia has granted U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said on Thursday, a step towards Russian citizenship if he wants it. Snowden, 37, fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges brought in 2013.
Moscow, October 22 (ANI/Sputnik) Saad Hariri, who had previously twice assumed the position of the head of Lebanon's council of ministers, was re-elected on Thursday as the country's new Prime Minister in the wake of Mustapha Adib's resignation in late September, the office of President Michel Aoun said.
A deposition British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell gave in 2016 related to her dealings with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein was publicly released on Thursday, a document Maxwell had fought hard to keep under wraps. Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls as young as 14 to engage in illegal sexual acts in the mid-1990s, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement in any such scheme when she gave her deposition under oath. The April 2016 deposition came from a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who has said Epstein kept her as a "sex slave" with Maxwell's assistance.
A year after Lebanon was rocked by huge protests against its entrenched ruling elite, politicians have picked the same prime minister who was pushed out then to lead it out of crisis now. Saad al-Hariri, a three-time prime minister and heir to a wealthy dynasty, has been Lebanon's leading Sunni Muslim politician since the killing of his father in 2005. At the time, Hariri said his efforts to seal agreement on badly needed reforms had hit a dead end, blocked by sectarian divisions and vested interests, and only the "big shock" of his resignation as prime minister could break the deadlock.
Germany has issued travel warnings for popular ski regions in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, scrambling to contain the spread of the coronavirus as new infection numbers rose above 10,000 a day for the first time. While infection rates in Germany are lower than in much of Europe, they have been accelerating, and the daily number of confirmed cases last rose by 11,287 to 392,049. "The situation has become very serious overall," Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, said.
Lebanese veteran politician Saad al-Hariri was named prime minister for a fourth time on Thursday and pledged to form a new government that can tackle the country's worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war. After his nomination, Hariri said he would quickly form a cabinet of specialists "with a mission to enact the economic and financial reforms" set out in a French roadmap to unlock foreign aid. At 50, Hariri has already served three terms since 2009 as premier - a post reserved for a Sunni Muslim in Lebanon's power-sharing system.
Gunshots rang out in the affluent Ikoyi neighbourhood of Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on Thursday, one witness said. Smoke was also seen rising from the direction of Ikoyi correctional facility, a prison, the witness told Reuters.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won't rule out studying the addition of members to the U.S. Supreme Court as part of a commission he plans to name to look at court reforms if he's elected. During an interview with CBS's “60 Minutes" recorded Monday but not yet aired, Biden was asked by anchor Norah O’Donnell if the commission would study whether to pack the court. Biden says the commission’s charge would “go well beyond packing.”
Spain this week became the first country in western Europe to record more than 1 million confirmed infections, as it struggles to contain a resurgence of the new coronavirus. The country of 47 million is among those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 34,000 deaths attributed to the disease. Confirmed cases rose beyond the 1 million mark on Wednesday, when nearly 17,000 new infections were added.
The Vatican and China extended a controversial accord on bishop nominations Thursday over strong opposition from the White House and conservative Catholics given Beijing's crackdown on religious believers. The Holy See and Beijing government jointly announced a two-year extension to the 2018 agreement, which expired Thursday. The Vatican justified the extension by saying the agreement was purely ecclesiastic and pastoral in nature, not political, though it noted that continued dialogue would allow the Holy See to engage with Beijing on other problems, including human rights abuses.
Thailand’s government on Thursday canceled a state of emergency it had declared last week for Bangkok in a gesture offered by the embattled prime minister to cool student-led protests seeking democracy reforms. The revocation of the emergency decree, effective at noon Thursday, declared that the situation had been mitigated and could now be dealt with by existing laws. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha went on national television on Wednesday night to appeal to the protesters to reduce political tensions and promised to lift the emergency measure.
US Senate elections: the key races that will determine power in WashingtonThe Democrats face a tough challenge to reclaim control of the Senate, up against the Republicans’ 53-47 majority. With 35 seats up for re-election it will probably come down to seven key races