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Barrett faces senators on health care, legal precedent; Defiant Trump defends record at rally; and more
alert special report AP

Barrett faces senators on health care, legal precedent; Defiant Trump defends record at rally; and more

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Today is Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Let's get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is set to face senators’ questions; President Trump is as defiant as ever in his first rally after contracting the coronavirus; and Trump and Joe Biden both seek to tie themselves to popular infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


 

Top stories

APTOPIX Supreme Court Barrett

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Barrett to face senators on health care, legal precedent

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will face senators' questions over her approach to health care, legal precedent and even the presidential election during a second day of confirmation hearings on track to lock in a conservative court majority for years to come.

The mood is likely to shift to a more confrontational tone as Barrett, an appellate court judge with very little trial court experience, is grilled in 30-minute segments Tuesday by Democrats gravely opposed to President Donald Trump's nominee, yet virtually powerless to stop her rise. Republicans are rushing her to confirmation before Election Day.

Barrett presented her approach to the law as conservative and fair on Monday at the start of fast-tracked confirmation hearings. Democrats cast her as a threat to Americans’ health care coverage during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Election 2020 Trump

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Orlando Sanford International Airport, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Sanford, Fla.

Defiant Trump defends virus record in 1st post-COVID rally

Defiant as ever about the coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Monday turned his first campaign rally since contracting COVID-19 into a full-throated defense of his handling of the pandemic that has killed 215,000 Americans, joking that he was healthy enough to plunge into the crowd and give voters “a big fat kiss."

There was no social distancing and mask-wearing was spotty among the thousands who came to see Trump's return to Florida. He held forth for an hour, trying to get his struggling campaign back on track with just weeks left before Election Day.

Though he was hospitalized battling the virus only a week ago, Trump's message on COVID-19 was unaltered since his diagnosis: a dubious assessment that the pandemic was just about a thing of the past. Hundreds of people in the U.S. continue to die of the virus every day.

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APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Congress

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington.

Trump, Biden try to line up by Fauci as they court voters

Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are both looking to harness the credibility of America’s best-known infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as they make their case to American voters.

Trump is quoting him out of context, the doctor says. Biden, for his part, is eagerly promising to seek Fauci's advice if elected.

Overall, it’s an uncomfortable season for Fauci, who’s been studiously apolitical over a five-decade career in public health. The doctor is calling out the Trump campaign for taking one of his quotes and popping it into a campaign ad to suggest Fauci is in the president’s corner. Biden is taking every opportunity to associate himself with the doctor's positions.

Look no further than poll numbers on trustworthiness for the candidates — and Fauci — to understand the interest in lining up with the doctor. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in September showed 68% of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in Fauci to provide reliable information on the coronavirus. That compares with 52% of Americans who trusted Biden to do that and just 40% for Trump.

In other news today ...

  • Five men accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appear in federal court Tuesday for a hearing on whether they should be detained before trial.
  • Grasping for a comeback, Trump and his Republican allies are intensifying their focus not on Biden, but on his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris — arguing without evidence that it’s Harris, the first Black woman on a major party ticket, who would really be in charge if Democrats win the White House.
  • Biden made two campaign stops Monday in Ohio, attempting to expand the battleground map and keep Trump on the defensive in a state long thought to be out of reach for Democrats after Trump's wide margin of victory there four years ago.
  • California's chief elections official on Monday ordered Republicans to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes from churches, gun shops and other locations and Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned those behind the “vote tampering" could face prosecution.
  • Democratic Senate candidates are mounting a push in Republican states that few would have thought were competitive just a few months ago, putting GOP control of the chamber at risk.
  • A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama is partnering with a similar group founded by NBA star LeBron James and other prominent Black athletes and entertainers to sponsor events in major U.S. cities starting next week to generate excitement about voting early for the Nov. 3 election.
  • In the wake of heat waves, global warming, forest fires, storms, droughts and a rising number of hurricanes, the U.N. weather agency is warning that the number of people who need international humanitarian help could rise 50% by 2030 compared to the 108 million who needed it worldwide in 2018.
  • A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.
  • Major League Baseball had fans for the first time in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves in Texas on Monday night.
  • Roberta Wright McCain, the mother of the late Sen. John McCain who used her feisty spirit to help woo voters during his 2008 presidential campaign, has died. She was 108.
  • An anti-corruption watchdog on Tuesday ranked the United States and United Kingdom as the largest exporters most active at enforcing rules meant to prohibit companies from paying bribes in foreign markets, but said many others are doing next to nothing.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

Today's national forecast

The Sun Belt swelters with soaring temperatures spreading towards Texas. CNN Meteorologist Karen Maginnis let's us know how long the heat will last.

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APTOPIX Germany Daily Life

Lamps shine on a pier during sunrise at the Baltic Sea in Scharbeutz, northern Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.

On this date

The cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid by President George Washington, and more events that happen…

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