November 30, 2020

Headlines

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Schumer: Hearings for Biden Cabinet picks must start before inauguration
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Senate Democratic Leader (D-N.Y.) on Monday said that he wants hearings for President-elect ’s Cabinet picks to start in early January, paving the way to start holding confirmation votes on day one.“Hearings on President-elect Biden’s nominees should begin in January immediately after the Georgia runoff elections,” Schumer said, referring to the two Jan. 5 elections that will determine which party controls the Senate.Schumer added that the timeline would set up key Cabinet picks to get confirmation votes on the Senate floor on Jan. 20 “and soon thereafter, which is traditional for a new president.”“The Senate should follow precedent and hold hearings on President-elect Biden’s nominees in January immediately after the Georgia elections, before inauguration,” Schumer said.
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Governors to decide who gets vaccines first, health secretary says
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Moderna Inc. said it will apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, as the latest study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.This comes a week after Pfizer asked for FDA authorization for its vaccine (developed with its German partner BioNTech).On "CBS This Morning" Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, if approved, vaccines could be available in the United States before Christmas, and that it would be governors who decide which segments of the population would be first in line to receive them. Azar said that, after Pfizer applied for its Emergency Use Authorization, the FDA announced an advisory committee meeting for December 10. "If everything is on track, everything proves out what it appears to be, we could be looking at approval within days after that," he said. "Moderna is basically one week behind that. And General Perna [the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed] said that we'll ship within 24 hours of FDA authorization.
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Democrat Mark Kelly to be sworn in as senator this week
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Washington — Mark Kelly, a Democrat who defeated incumbent Republican Senator Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race earlier this month, will be sworn in Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET, according to a senior Democratic aide.Kelly and McSally went head-to-head in a special election November 3 to determine who will finish the remainder of the late Senator John McCain's six-year term, which ends in 2022. McCain, a Republican, died in 2018, and McSally was appointed by Governor Doug Ducey. Kelly's win over McSally flipped a key seat for Democrats, who are working to take control of the Senate and give the party full control of two branches of government in Washington. But whether Democrats are successful in wrestling the majority from the GOP will not be determined until early January with the results of two runoff elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are vying to hold their seats.
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More Americans Pay Rent On Credit Cards As Lawmakers Fail To Pass Relief Bill
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With their savings running out, many Americans are being forced to use credit cards to pay for bills they can't afford — even their rent. Housing experts and economists say this is a blinking-red warning light that without more relief from Congress, the economy is headed for even more serious trouble. There's been as much as a 70% percent increase from last year in people paying rent on a credit card, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia."If you're putting your rent payments on to a credit card, that shows you're really at risk of eviction," says Shamus Roller, the executive director of the nonprofit National Housing Law Project. "That means you've run out of savings, you've probably run out of calls to family members to get them to loan you money."
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Ramey, No. 17 Texas beat Davidson 78-76 in Maui Invitational
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Courtney Ramey and No. 17 Texas offered a glimpse Monday of the Longhorns’ potential depth to start the relocated Maui Invitational. Coach Shaka Smart wants to see the defense look a little sharper, too.Ramey hit the go-ahead driving score with 20 seconds left and the Longhorns survived a pair of final-possession Davidson shots for the win to beat the Wildcats 78-76 in Monday’s tournament opener.Texas (2-0) shot 48% and led nearly the entire second half, yet missed too many free throws and struggled to get stops as Davidson shot nearly 57% for the game.“We’ve got a long way to go defensively with our guys and 1-on-1 defense,” Smart said. “I think as a team they know that. But certainly learned about our guys’ resolve. They showed good resolve.”
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Man ruled insane in college killing sues state hospital
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A Massachusetts man acquitted by reason of insanity of killing a Wesleyan University student in 2009 has filed a lawsuit against Connecticut’s state psychiatric hospital complex
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California Battles COVID-19 Surge As Hospitalizations Reach All-Time High
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More people are in California hospitals with the coronavirus than ever before.There were 8,198 people in California hospitals with COVID-19 on Sunday and new cases in the state are surging. Last week, the Golden State's seven-day average for new coronavirus cases was 2,708, a 109% increase compared to a month ago.The state has reported almost 1.2 million cases and 19,121 deaths since the pandemic began.Black and Latino residents are being disproportionately affected by the virus and are more likely to die from it, according to The Los Angeles Times. Latinos are almost three times more likely than whites to test positive after adjusting for population.Current case numbers are likely delayed due to some health offices closing on Thanksgiving. The number of reported cases could rise in the next few days, and the impact of holiday gatherings on infections may not be seen for weeks.
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Political fight brewing over Biden’s WH budget chief nominee
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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget is quickly emerging as a political battle that could disrupt his efforts to swiftly fill out his administration.Some Republicans are expressing doubt that Neera Tanden could be confirmed by the Senate after she spent years attacking GOP lawmakers on social media.Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claimed Tanden’s rhetoric was “Filled with hate & guided by the woke left.”Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Tanden’s “combative and insulting comments” about Republican senators created “certainly a problematic path.” He called her “maybe (Biden’s) worst nominee so far.”
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Costco Cyber Monday: Here are the best deals for 2020
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(NEXSTAR) – With the turkey eaten and Thanksgiving Zoom calls with relatives done, it’s time for savvy shoppers to get down to business – mining Cyber Monday deals.While Costco may not scream Black Friday for many people, the beloved wholesaler is breaking out a number of steep discounts for Cyber Monday 2020. Here are some of the highlights from the Costco’s lineup of eye-catching sales, while supplies last:
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EU seeks anti-China alliance on tech with Biden
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While TTIP is out of reach, Brussels wants to resuscitate elements of it that dealt with standards and regulation.
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Navy to scrap USS Bonhomme Richard after days-long fire
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The Navy will scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard after a fire burned aboard the amphibious assault ship for nearly five days in July and rendered it unsalvageable, the service announced Monday.After “thorough consideration,” the Navy has decided to decommission the ship “due to the extensive damage” from the blaze, the service said in a statement.“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Navy secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said in the release. “Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her.”The Navy estimated that repairing the ship could cost more than $3 billion and take between five and seven years to finish, a price tag and timeline that service leaders did not find feasible.
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PlayStation 5, Xbox hard to get? You could be battling a bot
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When Microsoft rolled out its Xbox Series X|S and Sony debuted the PlayStation 5 in mid-November, gamers were ready with their credit cards. But the devices sold out within minutes, leaving many consumers disappointed and dismayed. About two weeks later, shoppers got another chance to lay their hands on a PlayStation 5 when Walmart restocked the new console the night before Thanksgiving, ahead of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events. But that inventory also sold out within minutes. "I've been trying to purchase it for my little brother. I'm pissed and confused as to how at exactly 9:00 it's going out of stock," one person complained in a tweet to Walmart. The answer, tech experts says, boils down to one word: bots. These software programs are coded to purchase in-demand products as soon as they go on sale, completing the transaction far faster than is physically possible for a human. Bots have long been prevalent in the sneaker industry, given the high resale value of coveted shoe releases, but programmers have been expanding to target other products and services. That includes tech releases and even grocery delivery slots for services like Instacart — a serious issue given the surge in demand for food deliveries amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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Americans face new COVID-19 restrictions after Thanksgiving
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Americans returning home from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the out-of-control surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.Los Angeles County imposed a stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents, and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, banned high school, college and professional sports and decreed a quarantine for those who have traveled more than 150 miles outside the county.In Hawaii, the mayor of Hawaii County said trans-Pacific travelers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test must quarantine for 14 days, and even those who have tested virus-free may be randomly selected for another test upon arrival. New Jersey is suspending all youth sports.
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Saban expects to return to sidelines for Alabama-LSU game
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Alabama coach Nick Saban expects to be back on the sidelines Saturday at LSU.Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, had to watch the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s 42-13 victory over rival Auburn from home over the weekend while offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian ran the show. “I’m feeling fine, so you don’t need to worry about me,” Saban said on Monday. “And just to make it clear, I’ll be evaluated by the medical staff later in the week and they’ll make a determination as to when I come back. But I don’t anticipate any problems in being able to coach the game this week.”The 69-year-old coach has said he had only mild symptoms and no fever. The Southeastern Conference requires those with positive tests to remain isolated for at least 10 days from when they first started experiencing symptoms. They have to have gone at least 24 hours without a fever before being allowed to return.
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Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge
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Hospitals are facing rising pressure from a surge of coronavirus cases that is threatening to overwhelm their capacity, as the country braces for further escalation following Thanksgiving. Over 93,000 people are in the hospital with coronavirus, a record level, and the number is only continuing to rise, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. The country is also recording over 150,000 new cases every day, and the numbers are likely to only get worse given a burst of gatherings and travel from Thanksgiving. Hospitals around the country are steeling themselves for an already-strained situation to get even worse. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents academic medical centers across the country, sent a document to its member hospitals last week reminding them of “crisis standards of care,” which are used to cope with an overwhelming number of patients. 
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Arizona certifies Biden’s narrow victory over Trump
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PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona officials certified the state’s election results on Monday, formalizing Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow victory over Donald Trump even as the Republican president’s attorneys continued to make baseless claims of fraud about the state’s vote count.Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey both vouched for the integrity of the election before signing off on the results. “We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong,” Ducey said. He did not directly address Trump’s claims of irregularities but said the state pulled off a successful election with a mix of in-person and mail voting despite the pandemic. Hobbs said Arizona voters should know that the election “was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.”
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Arizona certifies election results
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Arizona's top statewide officials on Monday officially certified their results in the battleground state, finalizing historic victories in the state for President-elect Joe Biden and Senator-elect Mark Kelly."The complexity this year has been compounded by the pandemic. In spite of this, we had an extremely well-run election and saw historically high voter participation," Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said Monday at the certification event in Phoenix. Hobbs signed off on the state's final election tallies with Arizona Chief Justice Robert Brutinel and some of the state's top-ranking elected Republicans, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich."As I've said before, we do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong. And that's why I've bragged on it so much," said Ducey.
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‘I’m Your Woman’ puts a fresh spin on the 1970s crime drama
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Director Julia Hart couldn’t stop thinking about Tuesday Weld. She had just watched Michael Mann’s 1981 thriller “Thief” and Weld’s character Jessie had taken over her imagination. Where did she and the baby go? What was going through her mind? In some ways, Jessie is just the girlfriend. She’s there to up the stakes for the main character and exits the frame when the action begins. It’s not uncommon in the genre. Just think of Michael Corleone closing the door on Kay at the end of “The Godfather.” But, Hart thought, what if we followed the woman instead of the man? It wouldn’t be revisionist or corrective, just a different path. And it was the beginning of the yearslong process of creating “I’m Your Woman,” which turns the lens on the suburban housewife who has to go on the run with a new baby when her criminal husband disappears. The film starring Rachel Brosnahan opens in select theaters Friday and will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 11.
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