Thursday morning news – October 22, 2020

Trump and Biden prepare for second and final debate » President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden will face off tonight in Nashville.

But the president is not happy about multiple changes in the second and final debate.

TRUMP: The whole thing is crazy. This commission, I had problems with them four years ago where they muted my mic. They did a whole thing, they did this to me already. 

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that at the start of each new topic one candidate will have his microphone muted while the other delivers his two-minute remarks. But the remainder of each 15-minute block will be open discussion, without any muting.

And White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany complained that foreign policy is not on the list of topics. She accused the commission of deliberately steering away from Trump’s foreign policy wins like recent Middle East peace deals.

MCENANY: He will be bringing up these points even if the biased debate commission will not be making this the topic of the debate. 

Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said the campaigns had already agreed that foreign policy would be the focus of this debate. 

Former Vice President Biden spent Wednesday preparing for the debate while his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, campaigned in North Carolina. Harris said Biden will speak directly to the needs of Americans during tonight’s event. 

HARRIS: He knows that people want to hear about how we’re going to help working people get through the end of the month and pay their rent. That’s what people care about. 

All major networks will cover the debate, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Coronavirus cases surging in many states » One topic the candidates are certain to debate is the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus accelerates once again in many countries, including the United States. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The New York Times reports that as of Monday, nearly one-third of all U.S. “states had added more cases in the prior week than in any other seven-day stretch.” 

And the pandemic is hitting the Midwest especially hard. 

The city of Chicago on Wednesday added five more states to its travel quarantine order. As of tomorrow, anyone traveling to the city from Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Delaware or West Virginia will have to quarantine for two weeks. Thirty-one other states and territories were already on that list.  

In Ohio, more coronavirus patients are now hospitalized than ever before. However, COVID-19 deaths have not risen in the state. 

But new daily deaths are up in North Dakota, which now has the highest number of cases per capita in the country. 

Nationally, COVID-19-related deaths have held relatively steady for more than a month at 7-to-800 per day. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

British prime minister resists opposition calls for nationwide lockdown » The British government on Wednesday put another 1.4 million people into England’s tightest coronavirus restrictions. The South Yorkshire region will face Tier 3 restrictions as of Saturday.

But some say that tiered and targeted measures at the regional level aren’t enough. 

Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer pressed Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday for a nationwide so-called “circuit break” lockdown. 

STARMER: This may be the last opportunity for the prime minister to put in place an effective circuit break. The prime minister was too slow in the first phase of this pandemic. He’s been too slow again. We cannot repeat this mistake. 

But Johnson fired back that Starmer can’t say how long circuit breakers “would go on,” and “he can’t say how much damage they would do” to the British economy.

JOHNSON: Areas that have gone into Tier 3, I believe, are already making progress. And areas where there are restrictions in place are also showing signs of progress. We are pursuing, Mr. Speaker, a local, a regional approach, which is the sensible approach for this country.

In the highest-risk areas of England, pubs have to close and people are barred from mixing with members of other households.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have set their own measures, putting “circuit break” lockdowns in place. The lockdown in Wales takes effect at 6 p.m. tomorrow. 

Another coronavirus relief bill stalls in Senate » Back in Washington, for a second straight day, Senate Republicans tried to bring a streamlined coronavirus relief bill to the floor. Again, Democrats shot it down.

AUDIO: The yeas are 51, the nays are 44, and the motion to table is agreed to. 

The $500 billion bill needed 60 votes to advance.

It included $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and a federal boost to jobless benefits, among other things. 

Democrats said the package wasn’t a serious effort to address the crisis. 

And Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “fake vote.”

SCHUMER: Because if God forbid, the Senate actually considered a real bill to do something real about this overwhelming COVID crisis, it might delay their Supreme Court nominee. 

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fired back…

MCCONNELL: If the Senate turns to Judge Barrett’s nomination without having advanced another historic rescue package, it will only be because Senate Democrats used the filibuster to kill this aid. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still negotiating with the White House about a coronavirus relief bill worth roughly $2 trillion. 

U.S. officials: OxyContin maker to plead to 3 criminal charges » The company that makes the opioid OxyContin will plead guilty to three felony charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion. 

U.S. Attorney for Vermont Christina Nolan said Purdue Pharma’s prescription painkiller helped spark America’s opioid crisis.

NOLAN: Purdue’s expected guilty plea for that conduct will mark the first of its kind in the history of the country, a milestone in our efforts to combat corruption in the healthcare industry and the opioid crisis in America. 

She said the company will plead guilty to crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws. 

The opioid addiction and overdose crisis is linked to nearly a half-million deaths in the country since the year 2000.

(AP Photo/Nell Redmond) President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Gastonia, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. 

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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