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VIDEO: Serena Williams calls umpire a ‘liar’ and ‘thief’

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Serena Williams has accused an umpire of sexism and treating her more harshly than men after an on-court tirade at the official during her US Open final defeat to Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Williams was cited by official Carlos Ramos for three code violations during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to rising star Osaka: for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and for calling the chair umpire a thief, which cost her a whole game.

 

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Senate Set to Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court on Monday

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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives Wednesday for the third day of her confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett arrives Wednesday for the third day of her confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

After only 30 days since Trump announced he was nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, a Republican-controlled Senate is ready to confirm her as a Supreme Court justice.

What We Know:

  • The final vote occurred on Monday, October 26th at 7:30 pm EST. The final Senate vote was 52-48 in favor of confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and a ceremony did end up taking place at the White House ceremony following the vote where Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Coney Barrett.
  • President Trump spoke at the event, thanking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and calling today a “momentous day” for America, the constitution and the rule of law. He also praised Barrett’s intellect and poise during the confirmation process. Several Republican senators were also in attendance. Barrett must still take the judicial oath.
  • The significance of her confirmation now could be that Barrett could quickly be able to help decide applications from states for the court to settle disputes about voting methods, but she should not be able to give a vote on currently ongoing cases.
  • Moreover, the court has already made decisions regarding how to address several election-related disputes such as the previously blocked curbside voting in Alabama and imposed witness requirements in South Carolina. Her confirmation is a solid victory for Trump and a predominantly Republican Senate whose campaigning efforts have achieved a conservative majority on the court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said, “We made an important contribution to the future of this country. A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”

  • Prior to the vote, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski changed opinions over the weekend and stated she would vote in favor of Barrett even though she previously opposed swearing-in a new justice before Election Day. On the other hand, Republican Sen. Susan Collins, another Senate Republican running for re-election, made it clear she would vote against Barrett.

Democrats have signaled that in the wake of Barrett’s confirmation, several major changes could occur such as the end of the Affordable Care Act. It’s been reported that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over the health care law in November. Another fear is that she would vote for overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that made abortion legal.

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Coronavirus

AstraZeneca Says its Coronavirus Vaccine Triggers Immune Response Among Adults

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AstraZeneca offices in Cambridge, England. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
AstraZeneca offices in Cambridge, England. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

The push to produce a vaccine for COVID-19 seems to have taken another leap recently. British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca stated on Monday that AZD1222, the technical name of the potential Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, has triggered positive immune responses in adults.

What We Know:

  • AstraZeneca, the company responsible for developing an already promising vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has also said that a variety of responses to the vaccine among the elderly were also found to be lower.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the older portions of populations, including anyone else regardless of age with preexisting medical conditions, are most likely to get hit harder by the virus than anyone else. These people usually develop serious illnesses and other reactions upon contracting COVID-19. The announcement of these results makes it clearer that a vaccine can be successfully developed and distributed by the end of 2020.
  • According to CNBC, an AstraZeneca spokesman has said “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher.”

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman continued.

  • Many drugmakers and research centers are consistently working towards trying to deliver an efficient vaccine that will hopefully stomp out the pandemic that’s loomed over the world for much of 2020. At this point, COVID-19 has claimed over 1.15 million lives.
  • Over the past few months, several countries and companies have attempted to create vaccine candidates which are currently in test trials, according to the WHO. However, there are only a few that have reached later stages and much less received actual approval.

AZD1222 is still being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. Many believe it will end up being the undeniable winner of the race to create a vaccine and secure regulatory approval. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soirot has already noted that this vaccine has the ability to provide protection against the virus for at least a year.

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Election 2020

Final Presidential Debate: Takeaways and Analysis

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President Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the final presidential debate of the 2020 election on Thursday October 22nd at 9 pm EST. (Graphic via Chelsea Stahl / NBC News)
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the final presidential debate of the 2020 election on Thursday October 22nd at 9 pm EST. (Graphic via Chelsea Stahl / NBC News)

After a chaotic first debate where President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sparred aggressively, this final debate saw a huge turnaround compared to what voter’s received last time. With White House correspondent Kristin Welker as moderator, who was praised for her performance, the debate proceeded accordingly. Both candidates allowed each other to talk and had more respectful tones, even when on the offensive.

What We Know:

The moderator was able to roll through all the topics in the allotted time for last night’s debate, much of which was never clearly answered in the previous one due to its disastrous outcome. Biden once again held his own while under fire and greatly avoided any slip-ups that would have caused Republicans to question his age and mental acuity. Trump, in a much more collective manner, stood his own as well. As the incumbent, he didn’t bring anything else new to the table but reiterated his attacks on the Biden’s family and questioned the Democrat’s responses on key issues.

Covid-19 finally hits the stage

  • The Trump campaign reportedly complained that this debate was supposed to be on foreign policy, most likely for the president to speak on what he sees as accomplishments in trading, the Middle East, and Syria and target Biden’s son’s business ties to China.
  • Instead, the debate began with the COVID-19 pandemic, a topic which polls suggest is of greater interest to the American public currently. Trump didn’t seem to offer any new insight, only reiterated a vaccine is in the works and expects distribution in a few weeks. After his diagnosis of COVID-19 earlier this month, he used it as a way to promote new drugs that are being used as treatment and saying he’s probably “immune” now.
  • During Biden’s turn, he went on the attack pointing out how Trump has repeatedly downplayed the virus and how it would just disappear. He quoted the over 220,000 American deaths to the virus and stated 200,000 more could perish by the end of 2020.
  • The rest of this topic saw back and forth from both candidates. Trump continued to give reassurance on how everything is getting better, without evidence, and how lockdowns are not the solution. Biden countered by insisting he will “shut down the virus” not the U.S when addressing the pandemic. He also frequently advocated for mask usage and social distancing throughout the event.

Seemingly inevitable Hunter Biden topic

  • Ever since the last debate, when Trump brought up Hunter Biden, it was set in stone that his son would once again come up during debate night. It didn’t take long for the president to bring up the former vice-president’s family. Trump claimed that Biden profited from his son’s overseas deals in Ukraine and China. He cited recent stories about information acquired from Hunter’s laptop.
  • Biden’s response was a simple denial of those claims. He followed the financial dispute by turning it over to Trump’s taxes and business ties to China. The shift forced the president to spend time explaining how he “pre-paid” millions in taxes and vaguely describing when he’d release his tax returns. Biden confidently asserted how he and his running mate have already released theirs and asked Trump “what are you hiding?”
  • The exchange, being analyzed from various different angles, was one of the few parts that would have left a voter confused. Trump was clearly seeking to draw blood for personal attacks on Biden’s family. In the end, those attempts to make his rival lose his cool failed, which resulted in a cleaner debate.

A focus on immigration in the U.S

  • During Trump’s first run for the White House, he hammered onto the issues of immigration as one of the main issues he wanted to tackle. Now after four years, Trump tried to downplay some of the more extreme steps he’s taken while in office. His famous Mexico border wall did not come up.
  • A question the president received about immigration was the separation of children from undocumented migrants under his current administration’s policies. He quickly turned the conversation over to detention facilities near the border and brought up what his term “cages,” created by the Obama administration before him to temporary house undocumented minors.
  • Biden, with some visible annoyance, implied that all the children of undocumented migrants came over with their parents and it was these unfair separations that make the U.S a “laughing stock”.
  • The handling of immigration has been heavily criticized under Trump’s administration these past four years ranging from I.C.E. raids, the border wall, and children cry for their parents which still may be fresh in voters’ minds. Trump’s only rebuttal to that was the children were “well taken care of” and that the facilities were “so clean”. It probably didn’t help his case at that point.

Trump and Biden on criminal justice/racism

  • One of Trump’s biggest fluke’s last debate was when he turned the conversation into race relations. He skipped around the topic and notably refused to directly condemn white supremacy and in fact told the Proud Boy’s to “stand back and stand by”. This time, it appeared that Trump did his homework and remained calmer.
  • He went ahead and bragged about his cross-party criminal justice reform and aid to historically black colleges. He attacked Biden’s involvement in a draconian crime bill in the mid-90s which consequently lead Black Americans to prisons. The moment Biden had a chance to speak on new reforms to correct that, the president questioned Biden on why he didn’t accomplish more under former President Barack Obama.
  • “It’s all talk but no action with these politicians,” Trump stated. “Why didn’t you get it done? You had eight years to get it done.”
  • For older viewers who watched this portion of the debate closely, it would have been interesting considering the crime in the 1990s. Both candidates spoke on the number of felons to whom they gave clemency and their efforts for reforms in the justice system. In a year plagued with social injustice, this is more important than ever.

In the grand scheme of things, the final presidential debate was more along the lines of what voters expect to see of a future leader. The dumbfounding first debate will certainly be one marked in history and talked about for generations. As of this point in the election, polls have demonstrated most Americans have made their choice with more than 50 million people already have cast their votes. There is a small chance this debate turned the tide to favor either party.

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