US Economy Surges at Record Rate, GDP Grows 33.1 Percent

The U.S. economy grew by a record 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020, as employers continue to restore jobs and the country continues to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Commerce figure released Wednesday reflects the rate of decline in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter, from July to September. The economy plunged by 31.4% in the second quarter of 2020, a record drop caused by government measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to The Associated Press.

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New Unemployment Claims Fall to 751,000, Beat Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 751,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Oct. 17, in which there were 787,000 new jobless claims reported. The figure released on Oct. 22 was the lowest since March, according to CNBC.

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Election Experts Warn Voters to Stop Sending in Ballots, Vote in Person Amidst USPS Delays

Election and postal experts have warned Americans to stop voting by mail as delays continue to hamper the postal system one week before the election.

With just seven days of voting left before the Nov. 3 election, sending a ballot through the United States Postal Service (USPS) system would risk a late delivery, election experts told the Washington Post. The week of Oct. 16 was the 14th straight week where more than 10% of first-class mail delivery was delayed.

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Commentary: Yes, the Polls Are Shifting

President Trump’s political obituaries count more reincarnations than a Hindu lifetime. Perhaps, a slate of polls this week show yet another rebirth. 

The president is surging in key battleground states, and at the national level, with 2016’s most accurate pollsters showing Trump en route to battleground victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, and Arizona. 

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Commentary: How to Restrain Big Tech Immediately

A year ago, University of Georgia professor Cas Mudde took to Twitter and asked: “How do you manage to stay informed about political news and stay mentally balanced?” In his next tweet, he confessed too much time on social media was contributing to anxiety and depression.

With this, Mudde expressed a sentiment many social media users share. As we discuss policy issues tied to social media—tech regulation, free speech, foreign influence—we shouldn’t lose sight of the damaging psychological effects of today’s information environment. You may not want to hear this a week before the election, but social media addiction is a public health issue. Big Tech is the new Big Tobacco.

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20,000 Texas Mail-in Ballots Need to Be Redone Because of Barcode Problem

Approximately one-third the mail-in ballots in Tarrant County, Texas have been rejected by scanners due to a defect in their barcodes, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Heider Garcia, the county’s elections administrator, attributed the problem to the shop that printed that ballots, but assured that the ballots affected would still be counted, according to the Texas outlet.

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Hurricane Zeta Hits Louisiana with Flooding, Power Outages

Hurricane Zeta slammed into storm-weary Louisiana on Wednesday with New Orleans squarely in its path, pelting homes and businesses with rain and howling winds, knocking out power to thousands and threatening to push up to 9 feet of sea water inland in a Gulf Coast region already pounded by multiple storms this year.

Roads were flooded near the coast, where forecasters said Zeta made landfall around Terrebone Bay near Cocodrie, an unincorporated fishing village at the end of a highway with a marine laboratory but few if any full-time residents.

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Report: U.S. Colleges Hid More Than $6.5 Billion in Foreign Funding

Many American colleges and universities failed to disclose more than $6.5 billion in funding and resources from foreign sources including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled a report last week detailing the massive failure.

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Social Media CEOs Get Earful on Bias, Warning of New Limits

With next week’s election looming, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were scolded by Republicans at a Senate hearing Wednesday for alleged anti-conservative bias in the companies’ social media platforms and received a warning of coming restrictions from Congress.

Lawmakers of both parties are assessing the companies’ tremendous power to disseminate speech and ideas, and are looking to challenge their long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech.

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Biden’s Plan to ‘Transition Away’ from the Oil Industry Would Hurt New Mexico, Texas the Most

Both Republicans and Democrats are pushing back on comments Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made about “transitioning away” from the oil industry.

At the presidential debate Thursday night, Biden said, “I would transition away from the oil industry, yes. The oil industry pollutes, significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”

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Justices Deny Fast, New Look at Pennsylvania Ballot Deadline

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would not grant a quick, pre-election review to a new Republican appeal to exclude absentee ballots received after Election Day in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania, although it remained unclear whether those ballots will ultimately be counted.

The court’s order left open the possibility that the justices could take up and decide after the election whether a three-day extension to receive and count absentee ballots ordered by Pennsylvania’s high court was proper.

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New Protests Loom as Europeans Tire of Virus Restrictions

Protesters set trash bins afire and police responded with hydrant sprays in downtown Rome Tuesday night, part of a day of public outpouring of anger against virus-fighting measures like evening shutdowns for restaurants and bars and the closures of gyms and theaters — a sign of growing discontent across Europe with renewed coronavirus restrictions.

Pedestrians and motorists returning home from work in Rome were taken by surprise when protesters, some of them hooded and members of an extreme-right political group, set afire to trash bins in Piazza del Popolo, overturned parked motor scooters and mopeds and hurled smoke bombs, state TV reported. Police vans unleashed torrents of water to disperse them.

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Ohio State Representative’s Beef with Governor DeWine Now Includes Attorney General Yost

On Monday Ohio State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) filed a motion with the Ohio Twelfth District Court of Appeals to strike down a brief Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed with the court.

AG Yost filed the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of Clermont County Prosecutor D. Vincent Faris who Becker is attempting to make investigate charges Becker made against Ohio’s governor.

Becker and Faris ended up in the district appellate court after Becker filed a Private Citizen Affidavit (PCA) on September 28 in Clermont County.  As The Ohio Star reported, in the PCA  Becker alleged Ohio Governor DeWine committed 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors as a result of his managing the state’s  COVID response.

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DeWine Calls for Some Ohio Businesses to Close Offices, Employees Work from Home

The Ohio Star received a tip that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was calling on larger businesses in Ohio’s red counties (according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System) to keep their employees at home.

During a special news briefing held on Wednesday announcing a Bureau of Workers Compensation dividend giveback of $5 billion to Ohio businesses, The Star asked the governor about the tip and whether he was urging businesses to keep employees at home.

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