5 things to know for October 26: Coronavirus, election, stimulus, France, UK

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

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1. Coronavirus 

In case you had any doubt that the coronavirus is back with a vengeance, the US just hit its highest seven-day case average since the pandemic began. More than 225,000 Americans have died from the virus. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows outright said yesterday, "We are not going to control the pandemic." Instead, he said the administration would focus on vaccines and treatments. Dr. Anthony Fauci said we may not get findings on the safety of potential vaccines until December, and widespread availability probably won't come until next year. Meanwhile, at least five of Vice President Mike Pence's aides have tested positive for Covid-19, including his chief of staff Marc Short.

2. Election 2020

There are eight days left until the US presidential election, and already more people have voted this year than did during all pre-election voting in 2016. That's about 58.7 million ballots cast so far. (Early voting deadlines and other important voting dates are coming up several states. Check them here.) But be warned: With so many mail-in ballots, the race may take days to call because some states don't count those ballots until after the election. Democratic candidate Joe Biden said during a "60 Minutes" interview that, despite his own polling lead in several key states, he thinks President Trump could win because delegitimizing the race's outcome is "how he plays."

3. Stimulus 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she hopes the House, the Senate and the White House can iron out some disagreements on a new stimulus bill and get things rolling this week. That's despite the fact she and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spent yesterday accusing each other of moving the goalposts on stimulus talks. Meadows said Republicans aren't going to opine or vote on a bill before they've read it. President Trump is stuck between a rock and a hard place here: Negotiating a deal before the election would help millions of struggling Americans at a critical political juncture, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately told the White House a pre-election stimulus decision wouldn't garner support from Senate Republicans.

4. France 

France has condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and recalled its ambassador to Ankara Emmanuel Macron. Erdogan suggested Macron needed "some sort of mental treatment" over his attitude towards Muslims in France, and said the French President doesn't believe in freedom of religion. Macron has vowed to crack down on radical Islamism after the slaying this month of Samuel Paty. The history teacher was beheaded after giving a lesson on the controversial caricatures of Islam's Prophet Mohammed from satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. A spokesperson from Macron's office said France would not tolerate the "excess and rudeness" of Erdogan's comments.

5. UK hijacking

British armed forces have regained control of an oil tanker in the English Channel after reports of a suspected hijacking yesterday. British police initially characterized the incident as involving stowaways. Then, it appeared the stowaways threatened the crew and may have taken control of the vessel. According to marine traffic data, the tanker departed Lagos, Nigeria, on October 6. Instead of docking on the south coast of England over the weekend, it made several zig-zag moves near the Isle of Wight before British forces forcibly boarded the vessel. Seven suspects have been detained, and the crew of the ship, the Nave Andromeda, are reported to be safe and well.


Today is the day for Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Senate Republicans are poised today to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a major victory for the President and his party just days before the election. Barrett, 48, is likely to serve on the court for decades and will give conservatives a 6-3 majority, a shift that could impact issues from the Affordable Care Act to disputes over the 2020 election.


Pope Francis appoints America's first Black cardinal, Wilton Gregory

Gregory is also the US' first -- and only -- Black archbishop. 

This NASA astronaut just voted from space

How a pair of raccoons (probably) broke into a bank

Want something delivered by Christmas this year? Order it ASAP

Since we're relying so much on online ordering, last-minute shopping may get you on the naughty list. 

An aggressive turkey named Gerald that terrorized an Oakland neighborhood is safely relocated

Gerald probably found out what Thanksgiving is, and he is not pleased. 




"Nobody says anything when other demographics pick up weapons, decide to arm themselves and confront the government over anything from wearing a mask to being cooped up in the house, but when certain demographics arm themselves, all of a sudden people tend to act as if the Constitution doesn't matter."

John Fitzgerald Johnson, the founder of the Not F**king Around Coalition. The NFAC is a group of armed Black men and women whose goal, they say, is to protect, self-police and educate Black communities on firearms and their constitutional rights.



Discover the ancient practice of tin embroidery 

Yes, that's TIN, cut into thin strips and delicately woven by hand. People are amazing. (Click here to view.) 

Football news:

22 teams will participate in the FIFA Arab Cup. The tournament will be held in 2021
Ronaldinho on Maradona: Rest in peace, my idol. Wizard of wizards!
For the first time in 17 years, Liverpool did not score a goal in a home Champions League game
Villas-Boas suggested that in memory of Maradona to withdraw the 10th number from circulation in all teams
Vatican on Maradona: the Pope remembers him in prayer and remembers their meetings with love
Flick about 3:1 with Salzburg: Very happy with Bayern's performance. Neuer-world-class goalkeeper
Tyson about Maradona: we were often compared. He was one of my heroes and a friend