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'Gimme Some Lovin' ' Bandleader Spencer Davis Dead at 81 - NPR
The Welsh multi-instrumentalist helped take his self-named band to the Top 10 in the U.S. and the U.K. in the mid-1960s and launched the career of Steve Winwood.
The Spencer Davis Group in 1966: Pete York (from left), Spencer Davis, Muff Winwood and Steve Winwood. Davis died Monday at the age of 81. John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images Spencer Davis, the multi-instrumentalist and leader of the band that bore his name, has died at the age of 81. The Spencer Davis Group recorded such hits as "Gimme Some Lovin' " and "I'm a Man." Davis wasn't the lead singer on either song though, giving that job to a teenage Steve Winwood. Davis died Monday while being treated for pneumonia, according to his tour manager and friend, Bob Birk, who worked with the musician for decades. In a statement to NPR, Birk called him a "highly ethical, very talented, good-hearted, extremely intelligent, generous man." Davis was born in Swansea, Wales, where he started singing in a boys' choir. By the time he was in college, he was invested in jazz and rhythm and blues. One day he ran into a young Winwood and his older brother, Muff, playing some country-blues songs at a bar, and Davis was so blown away that he asked the two to join his band immediately. (Davis told the Phonograph Record in 1971 that the elder Winwood had to join the band simply because Steve wasn't old enough to drive yet.) They eventually became the Spencer Davis Group, and their first big U.K. hit was "Keep on Running," written by Jamaican singer-songwriter Jackie Edwards. They followed that up with more hits, including "I'm a Man" and "Gimme Some Lovin' " both of which cracked the Top 10 in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The group disbanded a few years later, and Davis moved to California to start a short-lived solo career. In that 1971 interview, he reflected on his time with the Spencer Davis Group: "I think I experienced the greatest of pleasures and the greatest of sorrows. I look back on it as a necessary thing. But if anybody said, you know just for a laugh, or if the original members turned up in the same place and there were instruments present, I'm game. I'd really love to blow some of the old things." He eventually had the opportunity though without Steve Winwood as he toured under the Spencer Davis Group banner as recently as 2017. When it comes to Spencer Davis, the man, Birk offered this story in his statement to NPR: "Many years ago, a guitar of mine was stolen on a flight to Mexico. I told him about it when I returned. For the next many months, every time we spoke, he asked me if it was recovered. ... The next time I was at his home, he invited me into his music room. He walked into a closet [and] came out with a black Fender Telecaster similar to the sunburst one that was stolen. He handed it to me [and] asked me to play it. I played it. He asked me how I liked it. I said it played beautifully. He said 'Enjoy it.' After a few moments of silence, I looked into his eyes. He said, 'It's yours. I have a few of them. I never play this one.' Of course, I still have it."
Game On! The World Series Begins Between The L.A. Dodgers And Tampa Bay Rays - NPR
It's been a short and strange baseball season due to the coronavirus. Most of the playoffs were played at neutral sites to limit travel. Now, it's down to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Tampa Bay Rays practice at Globe Life Field with the roof open as the team prepares for Tuesday's World Series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in Arlington, Texas. First pitch for Game 1 is at 8:09 p.m. ET. Eric Gay/AP Tonight, it's a familiar moment in an otherwise strange baseball season. Game One of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is at 8:09 p.m. ET. Major League Baseball shortened its regular season from the usual 162-games to just 60 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The typical baseball marathon turned into a sprint. Games were played in teams' home stadiums with no fans (except for those cardboard cut-outs). The stillness of the empty ballparks meant every utterance (expletives or otherwise) could be heard clearly on television broadcasts. Some teams even experimented with piping in fake fan noise. Like 2020 in general, it was a season like no other. Early COVID outbreaks almost scuttled MLB's plans altogether when a slew of positive cases hit the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. The cases rolled through the teams and the teams they played causing postponements and delays. But then, week after week, baseball conducted thousands of coronavirus tests of players and team staff. Altogether, there were only 91 positive test results of players and staff members among the 30 teams. The tenuous season found a way to move ahead. Speaking before the World Series, L.A. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner credited players. "For being responsible and making good choices and doing everything that we had to do to ensure that the season was able to go on." It should be a treat of a World Series. The teams couldn't be more different in terms of their payroll, TV markets and fan base sizes. Despite all of that, the squads are very evenly matched. They both won their respective league championship series in the seventh and deciding games. The Dodgers are baseball's offensive juggernaut and they've made their third World Series in four years. Of course, the Dodgers haven't won the title since 1988. Yes, that's 32 long years for L.A.s long-suffering fans. For Tampa Bay, this is just its second trip to the World Series. The Rays lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. The Dodgers were the best team in baseball this season (43-17). They also had the second highest payroll at $108 million. Tampa Bay is at the other end of the spectrum. The Rays annual payroll was about $28 million (ranking them 28th). Despite the pay inequities, both teams have a deep bench of quality pitchers and hitters, and play stellar defense. This is the first time this season the Tampa Bay Rays have played in front of fans. (Los Angeles played before fans in the National League Championship Series). Rays shortstop Will Adames has embraced the mantra of pandemic baseball: be flexible. "Whatever is the situation you have to adjust and y'know continue to do what you have to do to stay here and y'know now that we're going to play in front [of] fans, it's going to be exciting again." The stadium will seat about a quarter of its typical capacity. Fans will sit in pods four seats together with at least six-feet of social distance between each pod (empty seats will be zip tied closed). Masks are required at all times except when eating or drinking. Another first for the first time since 1944, the games will happen at a single site, to reduce the coronavirus risk by eliminating travel and keep teams in a protective bubble. The neutral ballpark is Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. A quarter-filled stadium is better, and more lucrative, than nothing. And a chance to end an abnormal season, a bit more normally. All games will be televised on Fox.
Ireland To Impose 6-Week National Lockdown, Estimates 150000 Job Losses - NPR
Under the lockdown, nonessential retail businesses will be closed, and restaurants and bars will be takeout only. Residents are to stay within about a 3-mile radius of their homes.
Shoppers buy face masks on O'Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland, on Tuesday. Ireland's government is putting the country at its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks in a bid to combat a rise in infections. Niall Carson/AP Ireland will be the first European country to return to a nationwide shutdown as COVID-19 cases rise, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said Monday. Nonessential retail businesses are ordered to close. Residents are expected to stay within about 3 miles of their homes, except for work and other essential activities. The country is entering its highest level of coronavirus restrictions for six weeks, beginning Thursday. The country expects 150,000 people to lose their jobs over the next "couple of days," Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said. "We're making a preemptive strike against the virus, acting before it's too late," Varadkar said during a news conference Monday. "Our objective is to change the structure of the virus to flatten the curve again to get it under control." The government told residents to stay home and exercise only within 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) of their homes. Police will continue to use road checkpoints to deter longer and nonessential journeys. Varadkar said there will be a penalty for travel beyond that distance, but he addedthat details are being finalized. There will be exemptions for work and essential purposes. Ireland has seen some 51,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,850 deaths, according to the nation's Department of Health. The total number of cases in the country has risen by 75% since the beginning of September, and the 14-day infection rate is 261 cases for every 100,000 people. The country has a population of nearly 5 million. Bars and restaurants will be allowed to offer only takeout services, but schools and essential stores will remain open. Martin said some people, including adults living alone and parents who share custody of a child, could "link up" with another household to avoid social isolation. The government estimates the costs for unemployment benefits and grants to support the economy to be about 200 million euros ($237 million) per week, Varadkar said. Over six weeks, the estimate is about 1.5 billion euros ($1.77 billion), he said. That's not taking into account the potential drop in tax revenue from business closures. "To business people, who will have to close their shops, gyms, restaurants and pubs tomorrow, I want you to know that you've done nothing wrong," Varadkar said. "We're going to help you through this by ensuring that there's a weekly grant for every week that you're closed, based on your turnover in 2019." Ireland is upping its pandemic unemployment checks and is asking for commercial landlords to give their tenants a break, he said. Varadkar also asked that business owners hold off on laying off their staff, adding that the government would provide assistance. Just over two weeks ago, Ireland's government rejected the recommendation by public health experts to impose this level of a national lockdown, according to the BBC. Instead, the country implemented a limited number of restrictions on gatherings and recommended people work remotely. Varadkar stressed that the government tried to avoid a national shutdown and said the objective is to flatten the virus's curve. "Lockdowns save lives, but they also come with huge costs: human, social, economic and psychological," Varadkar said. "We can make sure the second wave is only a ripple, but that depends on all of us." Reese Oxner is an intern on NPR's News Desk.
Jeffrey Epstein Update: Court Says Ghislaine Maxwell's Deposition Can't Remain Secret - NPR
The mandate is a victory for Virginia Giuffre, who has publicly accused Maxwell of helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse her when she was a minor.
Ghislaine Maxwell, seen here at center right with the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein, gave a deposition in 2016 that should be released, an appeals court says. Maxwell is seen here with Epstein and others a party at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty Images A federal court has cleared the path to unseal the transcript of Ghislaine Maxwell's deposition from 2016,a lengthy document that may shed light on the sex trafficking operation she allegedly ran with the late Jeffrey Epstein that catered to rich and powerful men. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a federal judge's ruling from July, saying the lower court was correct to reject "meritless arguments" from Maxwell, who is accused of procuring young girls for Epstein. The mandate is a victory for Virginia Giuffre, who has publicly accused Maxwell, Epstein and others of sexually abusing her when she was a minor. It's not yet clear when the transcript will be released. Maxwell has denied the allegations against her, including under sworn testimony. But prosecutors say she helped Epstein sexually abuse dozens of underage girls. And in July, Maxwell, 58, was charged on several counts related to sex trafficking of minors and perjury. She has pleaded not guilty in that case. Giuffre has won the release of many other documents related to a now-settled defamation suit against Maxwell, including Giuffre's account of how she fell into Epstein and Maxwell's orbit while she was a teenager working at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by future president Donald Trump. Maxwell's deposition is one of the key documents that have not yet been released in the case, after U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska granted a stay to allow Maxwell's legal team time to appeal. In an attempt to keep the transcript from being revealed, Maxwell argued that "her interests outweigh the public's interests," the three-judge panel wrote in their order. "We have reviewed all of the arguments raised by Defendant-Appellant Maxwell on appeal and find them to be without merit," the judges stated. The appeals court also denied Maxwell's request to consolidate the appeal over the defamation documents with other legal battles she is waging. And the court said that any other appeals in the complicated and long-running case should be made to the same appeals court, which is based in New York. Epstein never faced a federal trial over the crimes of which he was accused. Roughly a month after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges in 2019, he died after being found unresponsive in his jail cell in Manhattan. His death at age 66 was ruled a suicide. Accusations against Epstein have long been obscured by legal maneuvers such as a controversial nonprosecution agreement he reached in 2007 with federal prosecutors in Florida. That plea deal with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta exposed Epstein to state charges but prevented him and any co-conspirators from being prosecuted for federal sex crimes in southern Florida.
U.K. Preparing COVID-19 Vaccine Trials That Deliberately Infect Study Subjects - NPR
Proponents say that such controversial "human challenge" studies can speed up vaccine development. But others cite ethical concerns.
A syringe at the Royal Free Hospital, north London, shown as part of a vaccine trial. Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images Researchers in Britain are preparing to start a controversial COVID-19 "human challenge" study in which dozens of healthy volunteers will be exposed to live coronavirus in an effort to speed up vaccine development. The Human Challenge Programme will be conducted by Imperial College London, which said Tuesday in a statement that it would be working in cooperation with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and hVIVO, a clinical company that has worked on viral human challenge models. The U.K. government ispreparing to invest $43.4 million (33.6 million pounds) in the study. The study, the first of its kind involving the coronavirus, will recruit healthy people between the ages of 18 and 30 with no prior history of COVID-19 symptoms and no known risk factors for the disease. Researchers would inoculate them with a candidate vaccine, then test its effectiveness by deliberately exposing them to live coronavirus. Such studies are controversial because they raise ethical concerns. However, proponents say they can speed up vaccine development and, ultimately, save lives. "No study is completely risk free, but the Human Challenge Program partners will be working hard to ensure we make the risks as low as we possibly can," lead researcher Dr. Chris Chiu from Imperial College London said in the statement. "The UK's experience and expertise in human challenge trials as well as in wider COVID-19 science will help us tackle the pandemic, benefiting people in the UK and worldwide," he said. "Participants in the initial study will be carefully selected to exclude anyone with a characteristic that has been shown to increase the severity of COVID-19 infection," hVIVO said in a statement. Similar trials are being investigated in Belgium. The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is funding the development of two SARS-CoV-2 challenge strains at a lab at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, according to Nature, and NIAID is reportedly awaiting data from phase III vaccine studies before making decisions on COVID-19 challenge trials. In the first part of the U.K. study, researchers will try to determine the smallest amount of virus required for a person to develop COVID-19 and illicit an immune response. That phase is scheduled to be wrap up sometime next year. "The proportion of participants becoming infected and the amount of virus that they subsequently shed will be tracked to better understand the course of infection," Imperial College London said in the statement. Vaccine taskforce chair Kate Bingham said the research will boost knowledge of the virus and aid further research. "There is much we can learn in terms of immunity, the length of vaccine protection, and reinfection,'' she said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. A non-profit group called 1Day Sooner has already attracted more than 38,500 volunteers in more than 165 countries to take part in such studies. "I would be lying if I said there's not like an underlying worry there or fear there because this virus is less than a year old," Chris Holdsworth, 25, who is studying for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and says he would be willing to participate, told The Guardian. "But at the same time I just try to contextualise the risk, without trivialising it."
Actor Jeff Bridges Tweets That He Has Been Diagnosed With Lymphoma - NPR
The Oscar-winning Crazy Heart actor — indelibly identified with The Dude Lebowski in The Big Lebowski — writes: "I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good."
Jeff Bridges visits Extra at Burbank Studios on Dec. 13, 2019, in Burbank, Calif. Noel Vasquez/Getty Images Jeff Bridges announced Monday night that he has a possibly life-threatening illness. He broke the news on Twitter with a reference to the iconically laid-back character with whom he's long been identified. "As the Dude would say..New S**T has come to light," the 70-year-old actor tweeted. "I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good." As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light. I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. Im starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery. — Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 20, 2020 Lymphoma is a form of cancer that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affects "tissues and organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells that fight infections." Bridges' tweet went on to say: "I'm starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery." He has not announced publicly whether it is Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or at what stage the cancer was diagnosed. The Oscar-winning Crazy Heart actor has been a fixture in Hollywood since he first appeared with his father, Lloyd Bridges, in the TV series Sea Hunt in the 1950s. Nominated seven times for an Academy Award, he's had starring roles in such films as True Grit, Starman, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and The Last Picture Show. And he is indelibly identified with the unflappable LA slacker, The Dude Lebowski in The Big Lebowski. He is now in production on the drama series The Old Man, in which he stars and is executive producer. The series will debut on FX and Hulu in 2021 and is produced by Touchstone Pictures and FX Productions. Those organizations issued a statement: "Our thoughts go out to Jeff and his family during this challenging time and they have our love and support. We wish him a safe and full recovery. And, as Jeff always says, 'We are all in this together.' Jeff, we are all in this together with you." The actor used that phrase in a second tweet to draw attention to an issue he has championed: "Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. And while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together. Vote.org. Love, Jeff."
SCOTUS Allows Pennsylvania To Count Late-Arriving Ballots - NPR
Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state's Supreme Court had approved last month.
A voter casts her early voting ballot at drop box outside of City Hall on Oct. 17, 2020 in Philadelphia. Mark Makela/Getty Images The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that election officials in Pennsylvania can count absentee ballots received as late as the Friday after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. The Court declined without comment to take up one of the highest-profile election law cases in the final stretch before Election. Pennsylvania Republicans had sought to block the counting of late-arriving ballots, which the state's Supreme Court had approved last month. Republicans sought the emergency stay, arguing that it is up to the state's legislature not the court to set rules for how elections are conducted. They also said the court's ruling could allow ballots cast after Election Day to be counted. The Court's most conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas said they would have agreed to the stay request. But Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court's three most liberal member to reject the request. Many more voters are expected to cast votes by mail this year due to the pandemic and the issue of the cut-off date for when those ballots must be in the hands of election officials has become a legal flashpoint between Democrats and Republicans. The decision comes in a state that is central to the presidential campaigns of both major party candidates. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the only two swing states where officials can only begin processing and counting the millions of absentee ballots on Election Day, likely delaying complete results for several days. In a third crucial swing state, Michigan, clerks can only begin processing ballots the day before Election Day. In its ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that ballots could be counted if they were received by 5 p.m Nov. 6, as long as they were mailed by Election Day, Nov. 3. It also said that ballots without a postmark would "be presumed to have been mailed by Election Day" unless there was strong evidence to the contrary. Before this year, the state required absentee ballots to be received by Election Day. But Democrats pushed for the extension because of concerns that postal delays would disenfranchise some of the millions of Pennsylvania voters who are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year due to the pandemic. The decision is especially important because President Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by just over 44,000 votes, a narrow margin in a state where more than six million ballots were cast. An NPR analysis earlier this year found that tens of thousands of primary ballots including almost 16,000 in Pennsylvania were rejected because they arrived too late to be counted. The question of when mail-in ballots need to be received in order to count has been the subject of litigation in others states as well. In Wisconsin, a federal appeals court recently handed Republicans a victory by blocking a state plan to allow ballots to count if they were received up to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. Democrats have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse that decision. Last Friday, a federal appeals court ruled that mail-in ballots in Michigan have to be received by Election Day. The state had wanted to extend the deadline by 14 days, arguing that postal delays could cause some ballots to be rejected. And on Monday, a state appeals court in North Carolina said the state can count ballots that arrive as late as Nov. 12, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
Air Travel High: TSA Screens 1 Million For First Time Since March - NPR
The agency screened more than one million travelers at airport security checkpoints Sunday, the most since the start of the pandemic. But the modest air travel increase may be short-lived.
Passengers enter a checkpoint at O'Hare International Airport on Monday. The TSA reports it screened over 1 million passengers on Sunday, the highest number since the coronavirus crisis began. Scott Olson/Getty Images How's this for an October surprise? Despite a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country, it appears that more people are flying on commercial jetliners than at any time over the last seven months. More than one million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration at airport security checkpoints Sunday. It's the first time the TSA's daily traveler count has topped the one million mark since March 16. And this wasn't just a one-day surge in air travel. The TSA's daily throughput figure has topped 900,000 eight times already this month, and the TSA reports that the 6.1 million people passing through U.S. airport checkpoints between Oct. 12 and Oct. 18 was the greatest weekly traveler volume measured since the start of the pandemic. But experts say there is a lot of pent-up demand for air travel and it's important to note that despite the modest increase, the number of people flying is still down more than 60% from the 2.6 million who flew on the same October Sunday last year. Still, it's a bit of good news at a time the nation's airlines are burning through tens of millions of dollars a day and reporting huge financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Delta and United both reported last week that they lost billions in the third quarter, as fewer people than expected dared to get onto airplanes in July, August and September. American and Southwest report their third-quarter results later this week, but are also expected to show billions in losses after many would be passengers canceled summer travel plans or drove to their destinations instead of flying. The industry group Airlines for America says airlines are in desperate need for additional federal coronavirus relief, as they are collectively losing $5 billion a month. Last year and into January and February of this year, airlines were setting passenger volume records. The TSA reported screening between 2.5 and 2.7 million people on the busiest travel days, which are usually Fridays and Sundays. But as the coronavirus outbreak spiked last March, companies halted business travel and millions canceled vacations and weekend getaways. By mid-April, the number of travelers passing through security checkpoints plummeted to under 100,000, a decline of 96%. Other than the days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the group Airlines for America says there hadn't been that few people flying since the dawn of the jet airplane age in the 1950s. There were short-lived upticks in air travel demand in early summer, especially around the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday weekends. But the number of COVID-19 cases spiked after each holiday, especially in parts of the country that rushed to reopen bars, restaurants and other gathering places. Lingering concerns about spreading the viral illness dampened demand for air travel during the later summer months. As welcome as this month's surprising rise in air travel is, there is still a lot of uncertainty over whether the trend will continue, especially heading into the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, which is usually a busy air travel period. Most airlines have significantly reduced their schedules as demand remains weak, and some have suspended service to smaller cities. In late September, bookings for travel in November were just a fraction of last year's level, according to the airline data firm OAG. And with what appears to be a new wave of COVID-19 cases surging, especially in the Midwest, several states are setting records for the daily number of infections being reported. Public health officials in many states are urging residents to stay home to celebrate the holidays in small family groups. "COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live, and play, and will now change how we plan to celebrate the holidays," said Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who added that "the safest way to celebrate is with members of your household and connecting with others virtually."
Bolivia's Election: Evo Morales Ally Luis Arce's Win 'Strong And Clear' - NPR
Luis Arce, a candidate handpicked by former President Evo Morales, is expected to be confirmed as the winner in the country's most important presidential election in a generation.
Bolivian presidential candidate Luis Arce (center) and running mate David Choquehuanca (second right) celebrate during a news conference Monday in La Paz, Bolivia. Juan Karita/AP Socialists in Bolivia are celebrating a historic victory after a candidate handpicked by their ousted leader, Evo Morales, was on course to win the country's most important presidential election in a generation. Luis Arce a former economy minister during the Morales era is poised to be officially confirmed as the winner after his main rival conceded, even before the official count from Sunday's election was complete. Hours earlier, Morales, who is in exile in Argentina, announced what he called "an unprecedented historic triumph" and proclaimed, "We recovered our democracy." The election followed the resignation last year of Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous president, after nearly 14 years in office. He left under pressure from Bolivia's military after seeking a fourth term in an election later annulled following fraud allegations. A report by the Organization of American States raising questions about the results fueled mass anti-government protests. Morales and his supporters maintain he was the victim of a right-wing coup. His departure in November laid the ground for Sunday's election, which was held despite the coronavirus pandemic and amid concerns that Bolivia's deeply polarized political scene could erupt into violence. Bolivians stocked up on food and other supplies ahead of the ballot. However, reports said that despite long lines at voting stations, the election went relatively smoothly. In the runup to the vote, most polls gave Arce a significant lead, although analysts said he would likely fall short of the numbers needed to avoid a second round next month against his main rival, Carlos Mesa. Conceding defeat at a news conference Monday, Mesa said initial counts showed a "strong and clear" win for Arce. "It is up to us, those of us who believe in democracy, to recognize that there has been a winner in this election," Mesa said. The socialists' victory celebrations began earlier when the country's unelected interim president, Jeanine Áñez, tweeted congratulations to Arce on his apparent victory while acknowledging the official count was not complete. Áñez, a right-wing archenemy of Morales, controversially took power after his departure. "I congratulate the winners and I ask them to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind," she said. Arce said he would seek to form a government of national unity and appealed for calm. The British-educated Arce, 57, served two terms as Bolivia's economy minister. He presided over a nationalization program and commodities boom that helped provide funds to lift millions of Indigenous Bolivians out of poverty and delivered a period of sustained growth. Mesa, 67, is a celebrated journalist and historian who served briefly as Bolivia's president from 2003 to 2005, and is widely considered a pragmatic centrist. A victory for Arce and the socialist party will be seen as a triumph for the Latin American left and for Morales, who is considered one of its heavyweights. However, the next president faces profound challenges. As in most of Latin America, COVID-19 has caused havoc within the health system and inflicted severe damage on the economy; the World Bank has forecast a drop in Bolivia's gross domestic product of at least 5.9% this year. With more than 8,400 deaths (and more than 139,000 confirmed cases), its 11.7 million population has one of the world's highest-recorded per capita mortality rates. "Arce seems to have tapped most of the undecided vote," said Rodrigo Riaza, Bolivia analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit. "The pandemic and the recession have taken a toll on people's trust in the alternative to the MAS," he said, referring to the Movimiento al Socialismo party. "The key questions now is if the MAS will have an absolute majority in Congress," Riaza said. "Without it, Arce's ability to govern will be severely impaired." Votes are still being counted from the congressional races, which were also on the ballot Sunday.
French Police Conduct Raids Against Suspected Extremists After Teacher's Beheading - NPR
The attack was carried out on Friday in apparent response to a lesson about freedom of expression that showed the students cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Demonstrators wearing face masks gather Sunday in Marseille, France, to pay tribute to teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded after he showed his class cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. SOPA Images/Getty Images Police in France raided numerous homes Monday in a sweep of suspects alleged to have offered online support for last week's beheading of a schoolteacher who had shown his students controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the Interior Ministry said. The raids come as thousands have poured into the streets in France to show solidarity in the wake of Friday's attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, where history teacher Samuel Paty, 47,was killed by a man later identified as an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen. Earlier this month, Paty showed his students the cartoons as part of a civics lesson on freedom of expression related to an ongoing trial over the 2015 attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The magazine had been targeted for publishing the cartoons. Depictions of Muhammad are seen as blasphemous to many Muslims. According to police, the attacker cut Paty's throat and decapitated him, then posted a graphic claim of responsibility on social media. In a confrontation later, police fatally shot the attacker. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the raids were aimed at sending a message that "enemies of the Republic" would not be given "a minute's respite." French authorities said 15 people had been detained and that 51 Islamic organizations in France were also being investigated. Darmanin said that among those arrested were the father of a student at the school and an Islamist activist, the two of whom "obviously launched a fatwa," or religious ruling, against the teacher. "Police operations have taken place and more will take place, concerning tens of individuals," he told Europe 1 radio. French President Emmanuel Macron, who earlier characterized the attack as Islamist terrorism, held a defense council meeting Sunday at the Élysée Palace. His office said the government will reinforce security at schools when classes resume on Nov. 2 after two weeks of holidays. Thousands of people gathered Sunday in streets in cities across France in support of freedom of speech. At Paris' Place de la République, Elizabeth Grandin held a sign that said "je suis Samuel" "I am Samuel." Grandin said people are outraged by his killing. "The role of a teacher is to help students develop their critical thinking," she said. "He was simply doing his job. There was nothing aggressive in his actions." "Secularism is not against religion. Secularism is there so that everyone can live their religion freely even atheists," she said. Grandin said she doesn't agree with everything Charlie Hebdo says and prints, but she defends the magazine's right to say it. Soraya Tedjini also came out to support what she described as French values. She arrived in France from Algeria in the 1990s during a wave of radical Islamist violence in the North African country. The exact number is not known, but some 200,000 civilians are thought to have died in the decade-long civil war between Islamists and the government. "I lived this kind of stuff, these horrible problems in my own country," she said. "And I don't want to relive them here." The rector of the Lyon mosque, Kamel Kabtane, said the slain teacher "did his job" and was "respectful" in teaching his pupils about freedom of expression. In a tweet, Kabtane said: "A teacher was killed by an ignoramus who knew nothing of his religion. Muslims must be united to face this ignorance and violence." The Assembly of Chechens in Europe, which is based in Strasbourg, France, also issued a statement condemning the beheading: "Like all French people, our community is horrified by this incident." Retired Parisian Michel Verandon said he felt compelled to come out and denounce the killing despite the pandemic. He said the French Republic has been struck at its heart. "I feel bad," Verandon said, "bad for the republic." "The killing of a teacher is an assassination of our values and of all the French people," he said.