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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Seven days and counting.
A week before Election Day, more than 64 million Americans have already voted — and about half of them are in the dozen or so competitive states that will ultimately decide who wins the Electoral College. Early votes in these battleground states already account for more than half of those states’ total votes in 2016.
Although the winner in many of the states may quickly be evident on election night, the increase in mail voting because of the coronavirus pandemic is expected to push back the release of full results in many key states. Here are the timing estimates and deadlines in all 50 states. Above, election workers in Santa Ana, Calif.
2. A Supreme Court decision limiting ballot counting in Wisconsin after Nov. 3 could reverberate beyond the state.
The decision was not a surprise for many Democrats, who had pressed for it. But a concurring opinion by Justice Brett Kavanaugh set off alarm bells among civil rights and Democratic Party lawyers, who viewed it as giving support to President Trump’s unsubstantiated arguments that any results counted after Election Day could be riddled with fraudulent votes.
Wisconsin Democrats are now engaging in an all-out scavenger hunt for 326,695 unreturned mail-in ballots, above in Milwaukee, and imploring voters to return ballots to their election clerk’s office or use drop boxes, rather than putting them in the mail at this late stage.
3. Joe Biden campaigned today in Georgia, a state Democrats haven’t carried since 1992.
Mr. Biden lashed out at President Trump — likening him to a “charlatan” and a “con man” — as he challenged him in a traditionally red state that is now a battleground. Recent polls show Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump, who won Georgia by five points in 2016, locked in a virtual tie. Mr. Trump is holding rallies in Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska today.
Former President Barack Obama delivered a withering speech in Orlando, joking that his successor “is jealous of Covid’s media coverage.” Relishing the chance to strike back at Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama has been willing to throw punches on behalf of his former vice president.
4. The Trump administration is imposing new limits on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that would undercut action against global warming.
The 11th hour effort to reshape NOAA includes removing the agency’s chief scientist, installing new political staff who have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposing stricter controls on communications at the agency.
According to prominent climate denialists who are close to the administration, the political appointees’ primary goal is to undercut the National Climate Assessment, which serves as the foundation for federal regulations to combat global warming.
We’re also tracking two major climate systems: Louisiana is bracing for Tropical Storm Zeta, its third major storm of the hurricane season. And in Southern California, two wildfires have put more than 90,000 people under emergency evacuation orders, many of them in the city of Irvine, above.
5. Latin America was always going to be vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic. But President Trump and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, made it even more so.
The two presidents drove out 10,000 Cuban doctors and nurses, defunded the region’s leading health agency and wrongly pushed hydroxychloroquine as a cure. At a dinner in March at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Fla., a partnership rooted in a shared disregard for the virus was cemented, our reporters found. Above, Manaus, Brazil, in May.
6. Russia will mandate mask wearing in public places throughout the country, its boldest move yet to try to stem a second wave of coronavirus infections.
The country’s federal health watchdog agency also urged governors of Russia’s 85 regions to order restaurants and entertainment venues to close by 11 p.m. It was an unusual step — President Vladimir Putin has resisted taking any nationwide measures. Russia recorded 16,550 new cases on Tuesday, its fifth day in a row of reporting more than 16,000 new daily cases. Above, Moscow this month.
Elsewhere, protests broke out in several Italian cities after a government decree aimed at stemming the spread of the virus went into effect. And in Spain, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Barcelona to protest a new nighttime curfew.
7. As colorectal cancer rates rise among young adults, a federal panel is recommending that adults start screening at age 45, not 50.
Though a vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in those 50 and older, 12 percent of the 147,950 colorectal cancers that will be diagnosed this year will be found in adults under 50, according to an American Cancer Society study. Health advocates say the recommendation has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives. The actor Chadwick Boseman, pictured above, died in August at 43 from colon cancer.
Separately, an approach called contingency management rewards drug users with money and other prizes for staying abstinent. A number of clinical trials have found the treatment highly effective, but few programs offer it, in part because of moral objections to the concept.
8. The Dodgers are one win away from becoming World Series champions — and are ready to get creative when it comes to pitching.
On the mound for the Dodgers in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays is Tony Gonsolin, above. The team will be using a game plan that involves multiple pitchers on the days that their best starters rest, a technique that was originally pioneered by their opponents. The Dodgers are the first team in modern times to try it in the World Series.
With a victory, the Dodgers would finally escape the shadow of 1988, when they last won it all. Here’s what to watch for.
In other sports news, World Rugby became the first international sports governing body to institute a ban on transgender women competing in global competitions. The move blindsided players.
9. When Lorraine Bracco read about a small Sicilian town that was selling ruined homes there for one euro, she thought: What do I have to lose? What is the downside?
The actress, of “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos” fame, is now the unlikely star of her own HGTV show, “My Big Italian Adventure.” Ms. Bracco, who is part Sicilian, didn’t speak Italian and had never been to Sicily before she purchased, as she put it, “three freakin’ rock walls” and put upward of $300,000 of work into the house.
“My Big Italian Adventure,” Ms. Bracco said, offered her something that she could do on her own, knowing that the results depended solely on the effort she put into it. “Oh, I’m empowered,” she said with a laugh. “I often butt against things that people say, ‘Oh, oh, oh, no, no.’ But I make things happen. I do.”
10. And finally, a swordfish sword is sometimes exactly what it sounds like.
Although whalers, fishermen and scholars historically saw swordfish as stab-happy gladiators, modern scientists were skeptical. But a record of half a dozen stranded sharks with suspiciously precise wounds may indicate that these encounters are common.
At least seven sharks have washed up on Mediterranean coasts since September 2016, each impaled with the same murder weapon, and almost always in the head. Taken together these cases offer what may be preliminary scientific evidence of high-speed, high-stakes underwater duels that had previously been confined to fisherman’s tales.
Have a sharp evening.
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