Friday morning news – October 16, 2020

Trump, Biden speak at competing town hall events » President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden debated policy last night, but not on the same stage. 

Biden addressed a town hall audience in Philadelphia, while Trump took part in a town hall event in Miami. 

Earlier this week, after Trump tested negative for COVID-19, NBC agreed to televise a live Trump town hall event Thursday night. 

That drew howls of protest from Hollywood. Scores of actors, producers, and others called on NBC not to hold the Trump event opposite Biden’s, which was scheduled first. 

The two candidates will share the same stage at next Thursday’s second presidential debate in Nashville.

Harris suspends travel after staffer tests positive for COVID-19 » Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris is suspending all in-person events through the weekend. That after a campaign staffer and one other person tested positive for COVID-19. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Biden campaign announced Thursday that Sen. Harris’ communications director, Liz Allen, and a flight crew member tested positive. 

Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Biden had no exposure. Though he and Harris recently spent several hours campaigning together in Arizona, both have since tested negative.

The travel suspension interrupts an aggressive push across a wide battleground map. Harris was scheduled to visit North Carolina and Ohio next. 

The campaign sees Harris as a key part of its outreach in North Carolina, where increasing Black turnout is key to the Democrats’ hopes of flipping the state.

Her Friday trip to Cleveland would have taken her into the metropolitan area with the state’s largest concentration of Black voters.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Trump, Republicans demand answers of Twitter censorship » Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. They want answers about Twitter’s decision to block links to a New York Post article. The Post report includes unproven email evidence that it says shows Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden engaged in corrupt dealings with a gas company in Ukraine. 

And Twitter again drew President Trump’s ire when it briefly locked the Trump campaign’s account. It froze the account after a Trump social media staffer posted a tweet with a link to a video related to the New York Post report. 

President Trump on Thursday threatened to sue Twitter and he repeated his call to strip the company of certain legal protections.  

TRUMP: The Big Tech persisted coordination with the mainstream media, we must immediately strip them of their section 230 protection. 

Section 230 is part of the Communications Decency Act. It shields digital media from legal liability over the comments and posts of its users. 

But the president and other critics say if Twitter is going to censor, annotate and otherwise curate user tweets, it should no longer receive that protection. 

Judiciary Committee wraps up Barrett confirmation hearing » The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday wrapped up the fourth and final day of its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Judge Barrett was not in the room. Instead, the panel heard from witnesses arguing for and against her confirmation. 

Democrats called four witnesses, including Kristen Clarke of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 

CLARKE: Judge Barrett’s views are far outside the mainstream. 

And Republicans called four witnesses, including retired federal judge Thomas Griffith. 

GRIFFITH: The public record makes clear Judge Barrett’s powerful analytical ability. 

Democrats tried but failed to delay a vote on Barrett’s confirmation. 

The committee will vote on Thursday to recommend her to the full Senate. 

Republican lawmakers are then expected to confirm Barrett to the high court by month’s end. 

Unemployment claims rise » The number of Americans filing jobless claims rose last week to 898,000.

Thursday’s Labor Department report mirrors other recent data that have shown a slowdown in hiring. 

Some analysts say with coronavirus cases again on the rise, Americans may be staying home more often right now and spending less in local businesses. 

Meantime, Congress and the White House appear no closer to agreeing on another relief package. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Wednesday…

MNUCHIN: The majority of the economy is bouncing back very strong. The parts of the economy that are still subject to travel, entertainment, restaurants, performances, those types of things are still suffering. And that’s why we want a much more targeted approach. 

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will only agree to a larger multi-trillion-dollar package. 

Falcons shut down facility after new COVID-19 case » The Atlanta Falcons shut their facility Thursday following one new positive test for COVID-19. The team remains scheduled to play at Minnesota on Sunday.

Coaches placed defensive tackle Marlon Davidson on the COVID-19/reserve list this week. The addition of a second unidentified case prompted the Falcons to close their facility out of caution. 

A team spokesman said the second person was not a player and barring any changes, the Falcons expect to be back at their facility today.

The Falcons’ shutdown follows other outbreaks with the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.

(AP Photo/Danny Karnik) Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Marlon Davidson (90) lines up against the Chicago Bears during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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