Coronavirus, Supreme Court, Election 2020, ICE and Russia

After scorching more than 50,000 acres and claiming four lives, California’s massive Zogg wildfire is finally fully contained.

a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Rapper Megan Thee Stallion performs.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion performs.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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a red white and blue umbrella: A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in Moscow in 2018.

© Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images
A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in Moscow in 2018.

1. Coronavirus 

More than 38 million people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 around the world, and more than 1,086,000 have died. The mayor of Manchester, Tennessee, Lonnie Norman, just lost his life to the virus, as did a Dutch woman who caught the virus twice. She is the first reported reinfection death in the world. Drugmaker Eli Lilly is the latest company to pause a major coronavirus related trial. It’s halted its trial of a combination antibody treatment for unidentified safety reasons. Meanwhile, drugmaker Pfizer has plans to start testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine in children as young as 12. It will be the first US coronavirus vaccine trial to include children.

a person standing in front of a building: A woman pushes a cart outside Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic in April.

© Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
A woman pushes a cart outside Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic in April.

2. Supreme Court 

Amy Coney Barrett faced questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members yesterday, and unlike the contentious Brett Kavanaugh hearings in 2018, the lines of conversation remained mostly calm. Barrett gave detailed answers but revealed characteristically little about her personal judicial beliefs. At one point, a Republican Senator asked her to show the notes she had prepared for the hearing, and she held up a blank notepad, which supporters took as a sign of her intelligence and knowledge on the subjects before her. Barrett provided comments on abortion law, healthcare and the state of race in America. She said the killing of George Floyd was “very emotional” for her family, and that it is an uncontroversial and obvious statement that “racism persists in our country.”


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3. Election 2020

More states are reaching important voting milestones, and that’s bringing even more woes. Texas voters endured long lines and waits on their first day of in-person voting, and in Virginia, the state’s online voter registration site crashed on the last day before the registration deadline. Officials say the issues stemmed from a cut fiber line. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he’s looking into ways to extend the deadline. In Pennsylvania, special agents with the US Postal Service discovered trash bags full of undelivered mail outside a postal worker’s house, creating the potential for more distrust as the USPS plays its most pivotal election role ever. As if the stakes of next month’s election could get any higher, an American credit rating agency says a contested election could cost the US its prized AAA credit rating.

a person preparing food in a kitchen

© Pfizer

4. ICE

a small clock tower in front of a brick building: Women from an immigration detention center were taken to Irwin County Hospital for what they say were unnecessary operations.

© Alan Judd/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/Sipa USA
Women from an immigration detention center were taken to Irwin County Hospital for what they say were unnecessary operations.

Mexico has identified two women who may have been subjected to non-consensual surgeries while in ICE detention. The findings are part of a larger Mexican investigation into allegations of improper medical care at a privately run ICE facility in Georgia. In September, a former nurse filed a complaint raising concerns about the number of hysterectomies supposedly performed there, as well as alleged medical neglect. Mexican officials have interviewed at least 20 women as part of their investigation, and several say they had improper medical interactions. Of the two women the country identified, one received “a surgical intervention” that she did not authorize. The other underwent a gynecological surgery without a full explanation on her condition or the procedure.

5. Russia 

For Robin: To be or not to be?

© Warner Bros. Animation
For Robin: To be or not to be?

The Trump Administration would really like to extend a key arms agreement with Russia before the election, and even went as far as saying the two countries had a “gentlemen’s agreement” to get it done. Russia, however, is flatly rejecting that claim. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov said there’s no plan in place to extend the New START Treaty, which would require Russia freezing its nuclear arsenal. He also said that the US would not get an agreement on strategic arms control from Moscow before November’s contest.

underwater view of a coral: This file photo from 2014 shows fish swimming through the coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

© William West/AFP/Getty Images
This file photo from 2014 shows fish swimming through the coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.


The NY Philharmonic has canceled its entire concert season for the first time in its 178-year history

A huge bummer, and a huge blow to classical music. 

Justin Bieber launches Crocs collection

The almighty randomizer has spat out another funky celebrity-brand collaboration combo. 

‘Batman: Death in the Family’ movie lets viewers decide Robin’s interactive fate

It’s like those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, but for adults. 

A Utah hiker stalked by a cougar spent six whole minutes slooowly backing away from the animal 

Six minutes in regular time, six hours in “being stalked by a cougar” time. 

Second giant ‘murder hornet’ escapes after it was captured by scientists in Washington

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. I’m going to start making yard signs. NO MORE SCARY BUGS 2020. 



That’s how much of its coral populations the Great Barrier Reef has lost in the last three decades, according to a new study out of Queensland, Australia. The main culprit? Climate change.


We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc — all in little more than a century. Despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion, in an op-ed for The New York Times about the cultural and political challenges facing Black women. 


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Happy HalloNOPE

You can’t be too careful around those fancy Halloween decorations, and this kid already knows it. (Click here to view) 

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