CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,916,118, and the nation’s death toll stands at 216,734, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday offered good news in its forecast about coronavirus vaccines. The CDC promised some vaccines by the end of the year in a posting on its coronavirus website. Vaccines are being developed and tested under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health. The Food and Drug Administration will give any emergency use authorization or approval.
BARRETT COMPLETES TESTIMONY AT CONFIRMATION HEARINGS… Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett completed her questioning yesterday on the third day of her four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. She maintained her platform of fairness and open-mindedness but avoided questions aimed at specific issues. Notably, she dodged questioning from Senator and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris on voting rights, COVID-19 and climate change. She told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy that it was an “open question” whether Trump could pardon himself and added that the top U.S. judicial body “can’t control” whether a president obeys its decisions. Under questioning by Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse, Barrett couldn’t name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (They are: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly and the right to petition the government). The hearings conclude today with testimony of witnesses.
TRUMP, BIDEN TO HOST TOWN HALLS… President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden will be hosting separate town halls tonight in lieu of their cancelled second presidential debate. ABC last week agreed to air Biden’s town hall from Philadelphia with ABC News political analyst George Stephanopoulos as moderator. Yesterday, NBC agreed to broadcast a competing Trump town hall from Miami, moderated by “Today” host Savannah Guthrie. A final debate between Trump and Biden is scheduled for next Thursday in Nashville.
EARLY VOTING TURNOUT SHATTERING RECORDS… Early voting records are already being broken as the U.S. closes within three weeks of the presidential election. Voters waited in long lines yesterday to cast their ballots in Texas, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. Early voting is already underway in 18 other states. More than 14.9 million votes have been cast so far, shattering records from 2016.
TENNESSEE ABORTION LAW RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL… A federal judge yesterday struck down Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law for abortions as unconstitutional. The 2015 law requires women to make two trips to an abortion clinic, first for mandatory counseling and then for the abortion at least 48 hours later. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Bernard Freidman found that the law serves no legitimate purpose while placing a substantial burden on women who seek abortions in the state.
SHOWTIME REVIVES ‘DEXTER’… Showtime announced yesterday that it is reviving “Dexter” for a limited series. Michael C. Hall returns to star in the serial-killer drama. Production on 10 new episodes is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and the premiere is set for late 2021. The original series ran from 2006 to 2013 on the cable network.
‘YELLOWSTONE’ SEASON 3 COMING TO PEACOCK… Season 3 of “Yellowstone” arrives on the Peacock November 22. The streaming service already has the show’s first two seasons. The third season, which is cable’s most-watched series of 2020, ended in August on Paramount Network and continues to air on the channel. Kevin Costner stars in the series as John Dutton, who controls the largest, contiguous ranch in the U.S.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE…
HOUSTON 4 – Tampa Bay 3 (in San Diego)… The Astros held off the Rays in Game 4 to avoid a series sweep. George Springer blasted a tie-breaking two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jose Altuve homered in the first with the bases empty. Starter Zack Greinke gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. Neither team announced a starter for today’s Game 5.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES SCORE…
L.A. Dodgers 15 – ATLANTA 3 (in Arlington)… The Dodgers erupted to score 11 runs in the top of the first inning and coasted past the Braves to pull within 2-1 in the series. The 11 runs are the most ever scored in a single inning by a team in the history of Major League Baseball postseason play. Joc Pederson blasted a three-run homer and Max Muncy unloaded a grand slam. Edwin Rios, Cody Bellnger and Corey Seager smacked solo homers. Starter Julio Urias allowed just a run on three hits over five innings. Righthander Bryse Wilson takes the mound for Atlanta today’s Game 4. L.A. sends lefthander Clayton Kershaw to the mound after back spasms made him a scratch for Game 2.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS… University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced yesterday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. The 68-year-old Saban said he has no symptoms. Offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, will take over in Saban’s absence.