Republicans Argue Against Electronic Ohio Ballot Application

Ohio’s top election official acted reasonably when he barred counties from accepting absentee ballot applications electronically in the face of potential cyberthreats and a loosely worded law, lawyers for the state and Republicans argued in a court filing Wednesday.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s directive was also “consistent with more than a decade of bipartisan precedent,” according to groups including the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the state GOP.

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Health Officials Seek to Block Trump Rally in Virginia

A Virginia health official is warning of a “severe public health threat” if a planned campaign rally for President Donald Trump goes forward Friday evening.

Dr. Natasha Dwamena, a Department of Public Health district director, said in a letter Thursday that the 4,000 people expected to attend Trump’s rally at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport would be breaking Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order generally banning gatherings of more than 250 people. She said the rally should be canceled, rescheduled or scaled down to comply with the governor’s order.

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Senate GOP Lines up with Trump to Quickly Fill Court Seat

Senate Republicans have swiftly fallen in line behind President Donald Trump’s push to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat as one of the last holdouts, Sen. Mitt Romney, said Tuesday he supports a vote despite Democrats’ objections it’s too close to the Nov. 3 election.

Trump, who will announce his nominee Saturday, is all but certain to have the votes to confirm his choice.

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Michigan-Ohio State Finale Highlights Third Big Ten Schedule

The Big Ten’s third football schedule of the 2020 season is highlighted by Michigan-Ohio State on Dec. 12, the final day of the conference’s regular-season and the latest date the rivals have ever played.

The Big Ten released an eight-games-in-eight-weeks schedule on Saturday that will start the weekend of Oct. 24. Just three days ago, the conference reversed course and decided to play a fall football season after postponing on Aug. 11 because of concerns about COVID-19.

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Robert W. Gore, the Inventor of Gore-Tex Fabric, Dead at 83

Robert W. Gore, whose invention of what created the breathable-yet-waterproof fabric known as Gore-Tex revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, has died. He was 83.

Gore, who was president of W. L. Gore & Associates for almost 25 years and company chairman for 30 years, died on Thursday at a family home in Maryland following a prolonged illness, company spokesperson Amy Calhoun confirmed Saturday.

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Ohio, GOP Defend Limit on Ballot Drop Boxes to One per County

Ohio and Republican groups including the Trump campaign are fighting to uphold a GOP election chief’s directive limiting ballot drop boxes in the presidential battleground to one per county.

They told a state appellate court in filings Monday that a county judge overstepped his authority when he blocked it. The Ohio Republican Party said Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye “relied on anecdotal evidence and ‘sound public policy,’” when the case “presents a pure question of law.”

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Feds Explored Possibly Charging Portland Officials in Unrest

The Justice Department explored whether it could pursue either criminal or civil rights charges against city officials in Portland, Oregon, after clashes erupted there night after night between law enforcement and demonstrators, a department spokesperson said Thursday.

The revelation that federal officials researched whether they could levy criminal or civil charges against the officials — exploring whether their rhetoric and actions may have helped spur the violence in Portland — underscores the larger Trump administration’s effort to spotlight and crack down on protest-related violence. The majority of the mass police reform demonstrations nationwide have been peaceful.

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Homes Burned as Winds Push California Fire into Desert Floor

Strong winds pushed a wildfire burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles onto the desert floor and spread it rapidly in several directions, causing it to explode in size and destroy homes, officials said Saturday.

Meanwhile, officials were investigating the death of a firefighter on the lines of another Southern California wildfire that erupted earlier this month from a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender.

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After Ginsburg: McConnell Pledges Quick Vote on Successor

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just over six weeks before the election cast an immediate spotlight on the high court vacancy, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowing to bring to a vote whoever President Donald Trump nominates.

McConnell, in a statement just over an hour after Ginsburg’s death was announced, declared unequivocally that Trump’s nominee would receive a vote, even though he had stalled President Barack Obama’s choice for months ahead of the 2016 election, eventually preventing a vote.

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U.S. Bans WeChat, TikTok from App Stores Citing Security Risk

The U.S. Commerce Department said Friday it will ban Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat from U.S. app stores on Sunday and will saddle the apps with technical restrictions that could seriously limit their functionality in the U.S.

The order, which cited national security and data privacy concerns, follows weeks of dealmaking over the video-sharing service TikTok. President Donald Trump has pressured the app’s Chinese owner to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company. It is not clear how the latest prohibitions will affect a deal recently struck by California tech giant Oracle aimed at satisfying U.S. concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.

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‘Nothing Left in the Bucket’: Wildfire Resources Run Thin

Justin Silvera came off the fire lines in Northern California after a grueling 36 straight days battling wildfires and evacuating residents ahead of the flames. Before that, he and his crew had worked for 20 days, followed by a three-day break.

Silvera, a 43-year-old battalion chief with Cal Fire, California’s state firefighting agency, said he’s lost track of the blazes he’s fought this year. He and his crew have sometimes been on duty for 64 hours at a stretch, their only rest coming in 20-minute catnaps.

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Pandemic Chases ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ to Christmas

Following the less-than-stellar theatrical debut of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” Warner Bros. is delaying its next big release, “Wonder Woman 1984,” to Christmas.

The postponement Friday of the “Wonder Woman” sequel, which had been scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 2, comes on the heels of Hollywood’s boldest attempt to lure moviegoers back to theaters during the pandemic.

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Ex-Baltimore Mayoral Aide Gets Prison in Book Sales Scam

A former aide who helped ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh fraudulently sell her self-published children’s books to nonprofits was sentenced Friday to more than two years in federal prison.

Gary Brown Jr. apologized for his actions and expressed regret for bringing shame to his family and friends before U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow sentenced him to 27 months.

In February, Chasanow sentenced Pugh, a Democrat, to three years in prison for her role in the scheme to profit from sales of her “Healthy Holly” books.

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Billionaire Mike Bloomberg to Spend at Least $100M to Help Biden in Florida

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is committing at least $100 million to help Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the crucial battleground state of Florida.

Bloomberg’s late-stage infusion of cash reflects Democrats’ concerns about the tight race in a state that is a priority for President Donald Trump. A victory for Biden in Florida, the largest of the perennial battleground states, would significantly complicate Trump’s path to reaching the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure a second term.

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Two California Deputies Shot in Apparent Ambush in Patrol Car

Authorities searched Sunday for a gunman who shot and wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were sitting in their squad car — an apparent ambush that drew an angry response from the president and sparked an anti-police protest outside the hospital where the deputies were being treated.

The 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy underwent surgery Saturday evening, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a late-night news conference. Both graduated from the academy 14 months ago, he said.

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Dozens Missing as Firefighters Battle Two Large Oregon Fires

Hundreds of firefighters battled two large wildfires Friday that threatened to merge near the most populated part of Oregon, including the suburbs of Portland, and the governor said dozens of people are missing in other parts of the state.

The state’s emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, said officials are “preparing for a mass fatality event” and that thousands of structures have been destroyed.

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Experts: Revamped OxyContin Hasn’t Curbed Abuse, Overdoses

A panel of government health advisers said Friday there’s no clear evidence that a harder-to-crush version of the painkiller OxyContin designed to discourage abuse actually resulted in fewer overdoses or deaths.

The conclusion from the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel comes more than a decade after Purdue Pharma revamped its blockbuster opioid, which has long been blamed for sparking a surge in painkiller abuse beginning in the 1990s.

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U.S. Budget Deficit Hits Record $3 Trillion Through 11 Months

The U.S. budget deficit hit an all-time high of $3 trillion for the first 11 months of this budget year, the Treasury Department said Friday.

The ocean of red ink is a product of the government’s massive spending to try to cushion the impact of a coronavirus-fueled recession that has cost millions of jobs.

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‘There Was No Fighting This Fire,’ California Survivor Says

John Sykes built his life around his cabin in the dense woods of Northern California. He raised his two children there, expanded it and improved it over time and made it resilient to all kinds of disaster except fire.

So when the winds started howling Tuesday and the skies became so dark from smoke that he had to turn on his lights at midday, he didn’t hesitate to leave it all behind in an instant before any evacuation order.

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Bahrain Becomes Latest Arab Nation to Recognize Israel

Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East.

Trump announced the agreement on Friday, following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.

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GOP’s Slimmed-Down Virus Bill Scuttled by Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats scuttled a scaled-back GOP coronavirus rescue package on Thursday, saying the measure shortchanged too many pressing needs as the pandemic continues its assault on the country.

The mostly party-line vote capped weeks of wrangling over a fifth relief bill that all sides say they want but are unable to deliver. The bipartisan spirit that powered earlier aid measures has given way to election-season political combat and name-calling. The 52-47 vote fell well short of what was needed to overcome a filibuster and seems likely to end hopes for coronavirus relief before the November election.

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California Fire That Killed Three Threatens Thousands of Homes

A Northern California wildfire threatened thousands of homes Thursday after winds whipped it into a monster that incinerated houses in a small mountain community and killed at least three people.

Several other people have been critically burned and hundreds, if not thousands, of homes and other buildings are believed to have been damaged or destroyed by the fire in the foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, authorities said.

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State Watchdog Seeks Probe of Utility Tied to Bribery Scheme

Ohio’s consumer watchdog has asked a regulatory agency to conduct an independent investigation of the state’s largest electric utility, FirstEnergy Corp., that federal authorities have tied to a $60 million bribery scheme involving one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians.

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel in a motion filed late Tuesday with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has asked that outside investigators examine whether money collected from consumers “was improperly used for any activities in connection with HB6 instead of for electric utility service.”

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Trump Releases List of 20 New Possible Supreme Court Picks

Hoping to replicate a strategy that has long been seen as key to his appeal among conservative voters, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he is adding 20 names to a list of Supreme Court candidates that he’s pledged to choose from if he has future vacancies to fill.

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NIH: Halted Vaccine Study Shows ‘No Compromises’ on Safety

The suspension of a huge COVID-19 vaccine study over an illness in a single participant shows there will be “no compromises” on safety in the race to develop the shot, the chief of the National Institutes of Health told Congress on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca has put on hold studies of its vaccine candidate in the U.S. and other countries while it investigates whether a British volunteer’s illness is a side effect or a coincidence.

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Thousands of Ohioans Must Return Unemployment Overpayments

Around 48,000 Ohioans were notified they received an overpayment of unemployment benefits during the pandemic and must repay the state, The Associated Press reported.

That’s about 6% of the nearly 800,000 Ohioans who have been paid regular unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic in March, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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Trump Readying Potential Supreme Court Nominee List Including Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young

President Donald Trump is preparing to again release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees, one that voters can compare to rival Joe Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to the high court if given the chance.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that Trump’s list will be released soon. “I’m optimistic that you’ll see those SCOTUS picks in coming days,” Meadows said.

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California Fires Bring More Chopper Rescues, Power Shutoffs

Helicopters rescued more people from wildfires Tuesday as flames chewed through bone-dry California after a scorching Labor Day weekend that saw a dramatic airlift of more than 200 people and ended with the state’s largest utility cutting power to 172,000 customers to try to prevent more blazes.

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Trump, Biden Spar Over Economy, Workers in Labor Day Blitz

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump spent Monday diminishing each other’s credentials on the economy and understanding of the American worker as the presidential campaign entered its final, post-Labor Day stretch.

While workers live by an “American code,” Biden said Trump “lives by a code of lies, greed and selfishness” as he met with labor leaders in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a key swing state. Trump, meanwhile, tried to put the halting economic recovery under the best light in a White House press conference where he said Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, would “destroy this country and would destroy this economy.”

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In Battlegrounds, Absentee Ballot Rejections Could Triple

Thousands of absentee ballots get rejected in every presidential election. This year, that problem could be much worse and potentially pivotal in hotly contested battleground states.

With the coronavirus creating a surge in mail-in balloting and postal delays reported across the country, the number of rejected ballots in November is projected to be significantly higher than previous elections.

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Harris’ Mostly Virtual Campaign to get Wisconsin Road Test

Kamala Harris told a friendly crowd of Hollywood donors on Thursday they’d be surprised by how many states she’s visiting daily, if only virtually.

Earlier in the week, she’d campaigned before supporters in Minnesota, California and Connecticut, and she was greeting Missouri donors next.

Harris hasn’t been on a plane in more than a month. Three weeks after joining Joe Biden as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, the California senator is still campaigning largely in front of a computer screen to relatively small audiences.

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Judge Orders U.S. to Stop Detaining Migrant Children in Hotels

A federal judge ordered the Trump administration on Friday to stop detaining immigrant children in hotels before expelling them from the United States, saying the much-criticized practice skirted “fundamental humanitarian protections.”

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the use of hotels as long-term detention spaces violates a two-decade-old settlement governing the treatment of immigrant children in custody. She ordered border agencies to stop placing children in hotels by Sept. 15 and to remove children from hotels as soon as possible.

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After a Long Slumber, U.S. Cinemas Awaken on Pivotal Weekend

With the previews about to start, a trickle of masked moviegoers made their way into one of the first U.S. screenings of “Tenet” at the Bow Tie Majestic 6 in downtown Stamford, Connecticut. They took their seats Tuesday night, eyeing the empty seats between each other and a little giddy at being back at the movies for the first time in many months.

Philip Scarante and Andy Flores, both 25, went every Tuesday religiously before theaters closed in March. “It’s just our thing,” Scarante said. Seeing Nolan’s latest mind-bending spectacle later on a smaller screen held no appeal. They sat down in center seats, up close.

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Biden Meets Jacob Blake’s Family to Start Wisconsin Trip

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden began a visit to the battleground state of Wisconsin on Thursday by meeting with the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man whose shooting by a white police officer sparked days of sometimes violent and destructive protests.

Biden’s trip to Kenosha, the first of his general election campaign against President Donald Trump, is testing his pitch that he’s a unifying figure, able to lead the country through a national reckoning with systemic racism along with the pandemic and its economic fallout.

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Third Virus Vaccine Reaches Major Hurdle: Final U.S. Testing

A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work as a U.S. advisory panel suggested Tuesday a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine wins approval.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.

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Appeals Court Won’t Order Flynn Dismissal, Returns Case to Lower Court

A federal appeals court in Washington declined Monday to order the dismissal of the Michael Flynn prosecution, permitting a judge to scrutinize the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser.

The decision keeps the case at least temporarily alive and rebuffs efforts by both Flynn’s lawyers and the Justice Department to force the prosecution to be dropped without any further inquiry from the judge, who has for months declined to dismiss it. The ruling represents the latest development in a criminal case that has taken unusual twists and turns over the last year and prompted a separation of powers tussle involving a veteran federal judge and the Trump administration.

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Coronavirus Worries Force Election Officials to Get Creative

The coronavirus has upended everyday life in ways big and small. What happens when those disruptions overlap with voting? Thousands of state and local election officials across the U.S are sharing ideas and making accommodations to try to ensure that voters and polling places are safe amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Some are finding ways to expand access to voter registration and ballot request forms. Others are testing new products, installing special equipment or scouting outdoor voting locations.

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Trump Supporter Killed in Antifa-BLM Riot Clash in Portland

One person was shot and killed late Saturday in Portland, Oregon, as a large caravan of President Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the streets, police said.

It wasn’t clear if the shooting was linked to fights that broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by protesters in the city’s downtown.

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College Towns Growing Alarmed Over Outbreaks Among Students

As waves of schools and businesses around the country are cleared to reopen, college towns are moving toward renewed shutdowns because of too many parties and too many COVID-19 infections among students.

With more than 300 students at the University of Missouri testing positive for the coronavirus and an alarming 44% positivity rate for the surrounding county, the local health director Friday ordered bars to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and close by 10 p.m.

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AP Source: Big Ten Working on Multiple Options for Football

Big Ten coaches, athletic directors and medical personnel are working on multiple plans for staging a football season — including one that would have the league kicking off as soon as Thanksgiving weekend.

The conference is in the early stages of a complicated process that also involves broadcast partners and possible neutral site venues, a person with direct knowledge of the conference’s discussions told The Associated Press.

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Hurricane Laura Thrashes Louisiana, but Damage Is Less Than Predicted

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs, killing at least six people and maintaining ferocious strength while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days. But despite a trail of demolished buildings, entire neighborhoods left in ruins and more than 875,000 people without power, a sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared.

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