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HeadlinesNovember 17, 2020

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California Tightens Coronavirus Restrictions as U.S. Approaches a Quarter-Million Deaths

Nov 17, 2020

The United States recorded nearly 167,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the third-highest daily toll of the pandemic. The official U.S. death toll, already the highest in the world, is rapidly approaching a quarter-million — with 800 coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours.

In California, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom ordered stringent pandemic restrictions for three-quarters of his state’s counties and is considering a statewide curfew across California.

Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered a statewide indoor mask mandate — with some exceptions — along with limits on bars and restaurants and a ban on certain public gatherings.

In Arizona, the Navajo Nation on Monday ordered nonessential businesses closed, canceled in-person classes and shut roads to visitors, warning of “uncontrolled spread” of the virus. 

South Dakota ER Nurse Says Dying Patients Continue to Deny COVID-19

Nov 17, 2020
Image Credit: CNN

In South Dakota, where the COVID-19 death rate is among the worst in the world, emergency room nurse Jodi Doering says she’s treated many patients who deny that COVID-19 is making them ill even as they’re hospitalized. In a now-viral thread on Twitter, Doering wrote, “These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated.” She spoke with CNN.

Jodi Doering: “Their last dying words are 'This can't be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be spending time FaceTiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred. And it just made me really sad the other night, and I just can’t believe that those are going to be their last thoughts and words.”

Joe Biden Says “More People May Die” Unless Trump Coordinates with Transition Team

Nov 17, 2020

In Delaware, President-elect Joe Biden spoke of a “very dark winter” ahead as the U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus infections and deaths. Biden was asked what will happen if President Trump continues to prevent Biden’s transition team from coordinating with the outgoing administration.

President-elect Joe Biden: “More people may die, if we don’t coordinate.”

Biden called on Senate Republicans to pass a COVID relief package like the $3 trillion HEROES Act approved by House Democrats last May. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris noted the pandemic has had a far greater impact on communities of color.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “Black Americans and Latinos are three times as likely to contract COVID as others and more likely to die. Native Americans are more than four times as likely to be hospitalized as others. And last month the unemployment rate for Black Americans was almost twice the rate of others.”

Michigan Governor Blasts WH Coronavirus Adviser’s Call to “Rise Up” Against Public Health Measures

Nov 17, 2020

Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is blasting White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas after he called on Michiganders to “rise up” against public health measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. On Sunday, Atlas tweeted, “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept.” Atlas’s tweet came just over a month after the FBI said it had broken up a plot by at least 14 men to attack the Michigan state Capitol and to kidnap Governor Whitmer. Whitmer later said Atlas’s tweet “took my breath away.” She spoke with CNN on Sunday evening.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: “We know that the White House likes to single us out here in Michigan, me out in particular. I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals.”

On Monday, Stanford University issued a statement distancing itself from Dr. Scott Atlas — who’s currently on leave as a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. The statement read, “Dr. Atlas has expressed views that are inconsistent with the university’s approach in response to the pandemic.”

Mexico Coronavirus Cases Top 1 Million as Official Death Toll Nears 100,000

Nov 17, 2020

In Mexico, confirmed coronavirus cases have topped 1 million — though the true number of infections is likely many times higher. Mexico’s official COVID-19 death toll is nearing 100,000. Pakistan has banned public rallies after a spike in COVID-19 cases. Russia turned an ice rink into a temporary hospital as its cases reached a daily record of nearly 23,000 new infections. Iran also reported its largest daily increase, with over 13,000 confirmed cases.

Hurricane Iota Strikes Nicaragua as “Extremely Dangerous” Category 4 Storm

Nov 17, 2020

Hurricane Iota made landfall Monday afternoon on Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. Much of the city of Puerto Cabezas has been left without power, with the roofs of homes and a makeshift hospital ripped off by heavy winds and rain. Iota is the strongest hurricane ever observed this late in the season. It hit Central America just days after Hurricane Eta devastated communities across the region, killing at least 150 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. We’ll have the latest on the Central American hurricanes — fueled by the climate crisis — later in the broadcast.

Trump Campaign Drops Election Lawsuits as Trump Continues to Deny Loss

Nov 17, 2020

President Trump continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. On Monday, Trump tweeted that Ohio’s next Republican gubernatorial primary would be “hotly contested” after Republican Governor Mike DeWine publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory. On Monday, Trump’s campaign gave up major parts of its federal lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania, a state Biden won by over 73,000 votes. Trump supporters also dropped lawsuits challenging results in Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin.

Georgia Secretary of State Says Fellow Republicans Pressuring Him to Overturn Election Results

Nov 17, 2020

Georgia’s Republican secretary of state says members of his own party are pressuring him to exclude legally cast ballots from a hand recount of the November 3 election results. Speaking from quarantine after his wife tested positive for coronavirus, Brad Raffensperger said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged him to throw out all mail-in ballots in certain counties. And Raffensperger blasted Georgia Republican Congressmember Douglas Collins for accusing him of capitulating to Democrats. Raffensperger said, “I’m an engineer. We look at numbers. We look at hard data. I can’t help it that a failed candidate like Doug Collins is running around lying to everyone. He’s a liar.” Georgia’s initial count showed Joe Biden won by over 14,000 votes — a result that’s extremely unlikely to change significantly after a recount.

Trump Reportedly Proposed Bombing Iranian Nuclear Sites

Nov 17, 2020

The New York Times reports President Trump has inquired about bombing Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. Trump raised the issue during a meeting Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top military officials including Christopher Miller, the new acting defense secretary. The Times reports the advisers attempted to dissuade the president, warning that a strike could escalate into a broader conflict. But officials told the Times that Trump may still be looking for ways to attack Iran or Iranian assets before his term ends. Thursday’s meeting was held a day after international inspectors reported Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile is growing again following Trump’s abandonment of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran is enriching the uranium at a level suitable for nuclear power plants but not nuclear weapons.

White House Preparing to Order Troop Withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia

Nov 17, 2020

The New York Times is also reporting Trump is expected to soon order the withdrawal of thousands of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. The proposed plan would leave about 2,000 troops in Afghanistan and 2,500 troops in Iraq. The withdrawal has been opposed by some top military officials. Shortly before he was fired, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper sent a classified memo to the White House opposing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Ethiopia Bombs Capital of Tigray as PM Abiy Ahmed Rejects Calls for Mediation

Nov 17, 2020

The Ethiopian Air Force bombed the capital of the semi-autonomous northern state of Tigray Monday as part of a new offensive in the nearly two-week conflict. This comes as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year — is rejecting calls to de-escalate. Hundreds of people have died since Ethiopian troops began the attack on Tigray on November 4. More than 25,000 refugees have fled into Sudan.

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Peru Swears In Third President in a Week After “Legislative Coup” That Ousted Martín Vizcarra

Nov 17, 2020

Peru’s Congress on Monday selected the country’s third leader in just the past week. Francisco Sagasti’s rise to power came a day after interim President Manuel Merino resigned amid ongoing mass protests in which at least two people were killed. Merino was appointed after what opponents are calling a “legislative coup” against former President Martín Vizcarra, who was impeached and removed as he’s being investigated for corruption allegations. At least half of Peru’s congressmembers are also under investigation for corruption.

Brazilian Candidates Backed by Jair Bolsonaro Lose in Local Elections

Nov 17, 2020
Image Credit: Facebook: Monica Benicio

In Brazil, local election results in the country’s main cities show candidates backed by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro have lost across the board. Among the victories is the election of Mônica Benício to the Rio de Janeiro City Council. Benício is the widow of Marielle Franco, a vocal Black, LGBTQ rights activist and a longtime critic of police brutality. While in office, Franco was the only Black woman in Rio’s City Council. She was assassinated in 2018. Her murder remains unsolved.

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Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Claims Top 92,000 

Nov 17, 2020

Back in the United States, nearly 93,000 claims of sexual abuse have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America. Monday was the deadline for victims to submit claims against the now-bankrupt organization. Andrew Van Arsdale, a lawyer with the group Abused in Scouting, said sexual abuse was an “unspoken norm” within the Scouts.

Thousands of New York City Police Abuse Allegations Ignored or Downplayed by NYPD

Nov 17, 2020
Image Credit: Adriano Contreras

The New York Times reports most serious misconduct charges against New York City police officers were met with lenient punishments as the department constantly ignored or downplayed the need for stricter response. Of nearly 7,000 misconduct charges against officers, the department overruled harsher punishments in about 70% of cases, including officers accused of physically assaulting people. Meanwhile, New York City simultaneously paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits that stemmed from those same abuse complaints. This comes as New York City added another 900 cops to the police force last month. Over the weekend, dozens of people in New York City took to the streets protesting ongoing police killings and abuse. This is Robert Cuffy, an organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America.

Robert Cuffy: “At the end of the day, the police cannot fulfill the main demand of our movement, which is to stop killing Black people. … Since this movement has launched, like, they killed David McAtee in Kentucky. They killed Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. So, there are going to be more and more flashpoints, but there’s a sustained movement because of the daily presence of these people in our lives.”

Last week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a pilot program that would remove police officers from responding to mental health calls.

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