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U.S. to Remove Wolves From Protected Species List

Wolves to drop from endangered list

Gray wolves, one of the first animals shielded by the Endangered Species Act after Americans all but exterminated them in the lower 48 states, will no longer receive federal protection, officials announced Thursday.

“After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.

Environmentalists condemned the decision as dangerously premature and vowed to take the Fish and Wildlife Service back to court, where they have successfully blocked previous attempts to strip wolves of federal protections. “Wolves just occupy a fraction of their former range,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and chief executive of Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental group. “There’s so much work that needs to be done.”


US hits daily record of nearly 90K coronavirus cases, experts warn of upcoming death rate spike

US hits daily record of nearly 90,000 new Covid cases

The United States on Thursday hit a new record for a single-day increase in coronavirus infections with nearly 90,000 new cases reported, according to data collected from Johns Hopkins University.

On Thursday, the U.S. had 88,521 new coronavirus cases, an increase of 9,540 from the number of new infections recorded Wednesday.

The Johns Hopkins University data shows that since the pandemic first hit the U.S., there have been a total of 8,948,099 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and at least 228,696 deaths.


Georgia Republican Drew Ferguson tests positive for COVID-19

Georgia Republican Ferguson tests positive

Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after experiencing mild symptoms.

The Georgia Republican, who serves as House Republican deputy whip, said he is quarantining and will continue working from home.

“Last night I began feeling mild symptoms consistent with a cold, with no fever. This morning when I began running a slight fever, I immediately took a COVID test which has come back positive. Following the advice of my physician, I will be self-quarantining and working from home,” he tweeted.


Florida judge resigns from vote-counting board after donations to Trump campaign uncovered

Florida Judge Brent Shore resigns from vote countingA Florida judge has resigned from Duval County’s vote-counting board after findings that he donated repeatedly to President Trump’s re-election campaign and other Republican efforts were uncovered.

Duval County senior Judge Brent Shore, whose home displayed several signs supporting Trump, had served as chairman of the canvassing board because of his role as a county judge.

Yet Florida judicial rules bar judges from political donations of any kind. And canvassing board rules bar members from "displaying a candidate's campaign signs."

Senior county Judge Brent Shore, who has refused to change rules barring the public from photographing or videotaping vote-counting meetings, first donated $20 in 2016 to Donald Trump’s initial campaign for president. He has donated 11 more times since then to Trump for a total of $170, as well as donating $178 in the last two years to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.



Early U.S. vote surpasses 85 million, Texas exceeds 2016 turnout

Huge turnout in early votingWith four days remaining in the U.S. presidential campaign, more than 85 million Americans have cast ballots, including 9 million in Texas, where the secretary of state’s office on Friday said early voting had eclipsed total turnout from 2016.

Early voting has been setting records across the United States, with nationwide turnout passing 60% of the 2016 total, according to the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida. But Texas is just the second state, after Hawaii, to break the full-year record before Tuesday’s Election Day.

The unprecedented level of early voting reflects both intense interest in the contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, as well as a desire on the part of many voters to avoid exposure to the coronavirus in crowds on Tuesday.


Health Expert Don Jr. Says COVID Deaths Are “Almost Nothing” On A Day 1,000 Americans Died

Donald Trump Jr. While campaigning for the president on Fox News on Thursday night, resident health expert Donald Trump Jr. claimed to host Laura Ingraham that the U.S. has “gotten control” of the novel coronavirus. The number of COVID-19 deaths has dropped to “almost nothing,” said Trump Jr., and if you don’t believe him, he says, “look at my Instagram, it’s gone to almost nothing. We’ve gotten a hold of it.”

Trump Jr.’s comments were insulting in the face of a virus that has infected more than 8.9 million people across the country, resulting in more than 228,000 deaths throughout the pandemic, according to recent data from Johns Hopkins University. Perhaps what’s more insulting is that over 1,000 Americans died of the virus on the same day he downplayed it during his Fox appearance — the second-highest daily total for the month of October.

“I went through the CDC because I kept hearing about new infections. I was like well why aren’t they talking about deaths?” said Trump Jr. “Oh, because the number is almost nothing. Because we’ve gotten control of this thing, we understand how it works.”

TVNL Comment: Like father, like son.


At least 6 dead, hundreds injured as magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits Turkey, Greece

7.0 earthquake in Turkey, GreeceA strong earthquake struck Friday in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, collapsing buildings in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, and officials said at least six people were killed and scores were injured.

A small tsunami struck the Seferisar district of Izmir, said Haluk Ozener, director of the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute. At least four people were slightly injured on Samos, where a tsunami warning was issued.

Six people were killed in Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city, including one who drowned, and 202 were injured, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD.

Izmir Gov. Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 70 people had been rescued from the wreckage. He said four buildings were destroyed and more than 10 collapsed, while others also were damaged.


U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

US tops 88,000 new covid cases

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

The state of play: In the final stretch before Election Day, new single-day case records have soared to an all-time high. The four highest daily case counts have all been reported this week.


The polls point to a Biden victory but can they be trusted this time?

Can polls be trusted this time?

For months, activists and Democratic party officials have been telling Joe Biden supporters that the only answer to the question “can we trust the polls?” is to go out and vote for Biden, and then get others to do the same.

“The polls are a mirage,” one organizer told the Guardian last month.

For partisans on either side of the presidential election, “go vote” remains the only sound advice. Tens of millions of people have acted on that advice and cast their ballots early in record numbers. Others are preparing to vote in person on Tuesday.

After the dust has settled on the election, there will be plenty of time to analyze whether the state-level polling delivered a better picture of the race this year than it did in 2016, political organizers say.

But one thing is certain: the polls at the end of the 2020 presidential race are telling a very different story from the polls at the end of the 2016 race, and it’s a rosier picture for Biden than it was for Clinton.


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