The Rundown for October 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 8,774,118 and the nation’s death toll stands at 226,613, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… An internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News revealed that new COVID-19 cases and deaths posted double-digit increases in the past week in the U.S. The number of new cases reported nationally between October 20 and 26 increased 22.7 percent compared with the previous seven-day period. During the same period, recorded deaths increased 10.5 percent… The surge in new coronavirus cases continues to be felt on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 222.19 points, or 0.8 percent, while the S&P 500 slid 0.3 percent.

NOAA CHIEF SCIENTIST FIRED… Craig McLean, the acting chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been fired in response to an email he sent last month to NOAA employees who had been installed by the Trump administration. The email reminded employees of agency rules that prohibit changing research and data to fit a political agenda. The New York Times reported that Trump political appointees at the agency “have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposed stricter controls on communications at the agency.” Newly appointed NOAA chief of staff and former White House policy adviser Dr. Erik Noble made the firing after McLean defended the email as an effort to maintain ethics across the NOAA.

JUDGE WON’T LET DOJ INTERVENE IN TRUMP DEFAMATION CASE… A federal judge yesterday denied the Justice Department’s attempt to intervene on President Trump’s behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s. E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago. Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books. Carroll then sued Trump last year in state court in New York for defamation, contending he harmed her reputation with his counterclaims.

PROTESTS IN PHILADELPHIA… There was a second night of protests in Philadelphia last night over the fatal police shooting of a Black man on Monday afternoon. Philadelphia police shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. after responding to a call about a man armed with a knife. 30 officers were injured during violent protests that followed. Wallace’s family has called for an end to any violence or looting.

ZETA TO ARRIVE TONIGHT… Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to make landfall south of New Orleans tonight as a Category 1 hurricane. The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings for parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi, and tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. Coastal cities along the northern Gulf Coast were also placed under hurricane and storm surge watches.

… Jon Stewart has signed a long-term production deal for an hour-long current-affairs show on Apple TV+. The show will delve into “topics that are currently part of the national conversation” and Stewart’s own interests, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The series is expected to stream sometime next year and each episode will come with an accompanying podcast.

BLAKE SHELTON, GWEN STEFANI ENGAGED… “The Voice” coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement on social media yesterday. The singers have been dating since 2015 it will be the second marriage for both. Stefani was previously married to Gavin Rossdale and Shelton to Miranda Lambert. Shelton has been a coach on NBC’s music competition show since its inception in 2011. Stefani joined in 2014.

… The Dodgers eased past the Rays 3-1 in Arlington last night to capture the 2020 World Series in six games. The championship is the seventh in franchise history and first since 1988. Mookie Betts scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Corey Seager’s infield grounder and homered in the eighth. Seven L.A. pitchers combined on a five-hitter. Seager was named the series MVP.

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