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Teen wins $25K prize for research on potential COVID-19 cure - msnNOW
Anika Chebrolu's research could someday lead to a potential treatment for the coronavirus.
A budding scientist from Frisco, Texas, hopes to one day save lives with her research on a potential treatment for the coronavirus. Anika Chebrolu, 14, was named the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a competition for middle school scientists. The eighth-grader's project won her a $25,000 cash prize. "I isolated a lead compound from a database of almost 698 million molecules," said Chebrolu. That discovery, which she hopes will lead to a new weapon against COVID-19, began two years ago while Chebrolu was researching the Spanish flu pandemic. "I just wanted to help the world and let children know that they can do whatever they want to accomplish," she said. While the teen hopes to be a medical researcher and professor in the future, she is already doing grown-up work and inspiring a generation to reach for the stars.
Breonna Taylor juror: "The grand jury didn't agree that certain actions were justified" - CBS News
A Breonna Taylor case grand juror took issue Tuesday with the Kentucky AG's characterization of the panel's proceedings.
An anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case on Tuesday took issue with Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's public characterization of the panel's proceedings last month. The juror's statement, which was released through a lawyer, came after a judge denied Cameron's motion seeking secrecy in the case, following the grand juror's rare petition to speak publicly. Cameron presented evidence to the panel that in September indicted former Louisville officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the March police raid that left Taylor dead. Hankison, who fired bullets into Taylor's apartment from outside, was indicted for endangering Taylor's neighbors when bullets flew into their unit, but no one was charged directly in Taylor's death. In a September 23 news conference, Cameron said his investigation found — "and the grand jury agreed" — that the two officers who opened fire from Taylor's doorway, killing her, were justified because they were returning a shot fired by her boyfriend. Because of that, Cameron said, six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law were not applicable to the case. But "the grand jury didn't agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case," the grand juror said in the statement Tuesday. The grand juror said the panel was never given the option by Cameron to weigh homicide charges, something Cameron had previously confirmed in public statements. "The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them," the juror said. "The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self-defense or justification was never explained either." Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks on September 23, 2020, in Frankfort. Jon Cherry / Getty In the juror's petition last month asking a judge to speak publicly about the case, they accused Cameron of "using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions." In the statement Tuesday, the juror said "my duty as a citizen compelled action" to speak out after hearing Cameron's press conference. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Taylor's family, said Cameron "whitewashed" what he presented to the grand jury. "We now know what we suspected: Attorney General Daniel Cameron took the decision out of the grand jury's hands," Crump said. "They didn't allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do. This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron." Though grand jury proceedings are typically secret, Judge Annie O'Connell wrote in a ruling Tuesday that "the traditional justifications for secrecy in this matter are no longer relevant and the ends of justice require disclosure." She noted that 15 hours of grand jury recordings have already been made public in the case, and said Cameron's concern that further disclosures could impair a fair trial for Hankison is not "founded in reality." However, she ordered the juror to re-file their motion to speak publicly because she ruled it was improperly filed. Kenneth Walker reacts to grand jury decision08:52 Cameron said Tuesday he remains confident in his office's grand jury presentation, and that while he disagrees with the judge's ruling, would not appeal it. Cameron has said did not present murder charges because his investigation determined the wanton endangerment charges against Hankison were the only ones that would hold up in court. "As Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment that could be proven under Kentucky law," Cameron said in a statement. "Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone." But Cameron has also previously suggested that the grand jurors could have asked about more stringent charges if they disagreed. "I suppose... you know, again, the grand jury had two and a half days to ask questions, you know I suppose if they wanted to push... they're an independent body," Cameron said in an interview with local station WDRB, "If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges they could have done that." But in the statement Tuesday, the juror said, "questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn't feel they could make them stick." The juror said they were not "given the opportunity" to deliberate on additional charges and "deliberated only on what was presented to them." In a previous interview with CBS News, University of Kentucky College of Law professor Cortney Lollar said it would be rare for grand jurors to have the legal knowledge to suggest charges outside of a prosecutor's recommendation. "Most grand jurors are not lawyers, they aren't experts with the legal process," Lollar said. "They're going to take a look at the evidence and the law presented to them and decide whether there's enough to charge based on what's presented to them." Breonna Taylor and Kenneth Walker The juror said they could not speak for others on the panel but said, "I can help the truth be told." A second anonymous grand juror, who has also asked to speak publicly in the case, said in a statement they were pleased with the judge's ruling and that they are discussing next steps. The jurors' lawyer, Kevin Glogower, said the two jurors are not speaking out publicly at this time beyond their statements but are seeking transparency in the case. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, recently told CBS News that no one announced themselves as police and that he fired his gun fearing someone was trying to break in. "That's why I grabbed the gun. Didn't have a clue," Walker said. "I mean, if it was the police at the door, and they just said, 'We're the police,' me or Breonna didn't have a reason at all not to open the door to see what they wanted." The police search warrant was related to a drug investigation into Taylor's ex-boyfriend, who did not live at the home, and no drugs or money were found.
Melania Trump stays off campaign trail Tuesday, citing lingering cough - CBS News
The first lady has tested negative for COVID-19 since her initial diagnosis.
First lady Melania Trump was scheduled to travel with President Trump to a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Tuesday but is now staying home due to a lingering cough from her bout with COVID-19. Her chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, said the first lady continues to improve. Mrs. Trump has tested negative for the virus after contracting it along with the president and their son, Barron. "Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today," Grisham said. The first lady wrote a brief essay last week discussing her family's experience with the virus and announcing that Barron, too, had contracted COVID-19 but suffered no symptoms. The president announced he and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of the month, and Mr. Trump has since adopted a full campaign schedule, holding as many as three rallies a day. Melania Trump has largely stayed out of the limelight during the president's reelection bid, although the president's adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, have played a very active role in his campaign. Mr. Trump is spending a lot of time in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which he won in 2016. Polling shows the race is tight in the Keystone State, where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden grew up. CBS News' Ben Tracy contributed to this report.
Colorado's record-breaking wildfires show "climate change is here and now" - CBS News
As bad as this year has been, scientists warn it's "unlikely that the records from 2020 will stand for long."
The Cameron Peak fire, a few miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado, has engulfed over 200,000 acres and it's still growing. It has now become the biggest wildlife in Colorado history. What's more astounding is that the Cameron Peak fire is the second fire in 2020 to hold the title of largest wildfire in Colorado history. The Pine Gulch fire near Grand Junction briefly held that title, but for only 7 weeks, having burned 139,000 acres in late summer. Looking at this in a vacuum, you might think of it as mere coincidence. But zooming out, you need only look two states away in California to find evidence of more unprecedented fires. Six of the 7 largest wildfires in California history have all burned in 2020, and the largest, the August Complex fire, became the state's first ever gigafire — meaning it burned over 1 million acres, scorching more acreage than the state of Rhode Island. A firefighter is silhouetted as the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest wildfire in Colorado's history, burns outside Drake, Colorado, on October 17, 2020. Loveland Fire Rescue Authority via REUTERS This year Mother Nature has supplied us with smoking-gun evidence to prove what climate scientists have been warning about for decades. The scorched-earth impacts of climate change have arrived. In a letter the editor published in the journal Global Change Biology, two of the world's foremost experts on wildfires conclude that the "[r]ecord-setting climate enabled the extraordinary 2020 fire season in the western United States." LETTER TO THE EDITOR Record‐setting climate enabled the extraordinary 2020 fire season in the western United [email protected]@[email protected]@ucmerced 📝 https://t.co/6z9o3Qum3Spic.twitter.com/oyBMSsb2OW — Global Change Biology (@GlobalChangeBio) October 13, 2020 "Our 2020 wildfire season is showing us that climate change is here and now in Colorado. Warming is setting the stage for a lot of burning across an extended fire season," says Dr. Jennifer Balch, professor of fire ecology and director of Earth Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. According to Balch, Colorado in the 2010s saw a tripling of average burned area in the month of October, compared to the prior three decades of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. "We do see fall fire events in Colorado, related to fast, downslope winds. But to see multiple events start this late, in the middle of October, is very, very rare." Perhaps it's rare, but as of Monday 10 notable fires are burning across the state. The Cameron Peak fire's eastern extent is just 5 miles from Fort Collins and Loveland. Locations of Colorado wildfires as seen October 19, 2020. Google Maps Two of the most concerning new fires are burning in Boulder County and forcing evacuations. The CalWood fire — the largest fire ever in Boulder County — and the Lefthand fire have both exhibited extreme fire behavior, shocking even seasoned climate scientists. "Even as a scientist studying extreme weather & wildfire in a warming climate, I was shocked by how fast #CalwoodFire roared down the Colorado Front Range foothills," Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, wrote on Twitter, posting video of a swirling vortex of smoke. Even as a scientist studying extreme weather & wildfire in a warming climate, I was shocked by how fast #CalwoodFire roared down the Colorado Front Range foothills this afternoon. This is footage of one of several large fire vortices I observed while leaving area. #[email protected]/9yJRdNo14X — Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) October 18, 2020 Examining all the evidence, it's clear why conditions are extraordinarily flammable this fall. It's a compound issue of short-term natural climate variability layered on top of fundamental changes to the long-term climate from global warming. "This year was shocking" While you can't completely separate short-term variability from longer-term climate trends, as they are intertwined, a region's most recent weather conditions are a big factor in how extreme a fire season is. According to the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, for the first time since 2013 all of Colorado is experiencing drought. This is no run-of-the-mill dry spell — 97% of the state is in the "exceptional," "extreme," or "severe" drought categories. And it's not just Colorado; much of the Southwest is bone dry. Areas of drought in the Western U.S. in 2020. Darker colors represent more extreme drought conditions. Drought.gov Brad Udall, the senior water and climate research scientist at the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University, said 2020 started out promising. "This year was shocking because we had a decent winter and on April 1 we had 100% of snowpack," he said. But things quickly turned disappointing. "With 100% of snowpack, you'd expect a decent runoff year. Instead, we ended up with 52% of what is normal." The amount of water that runs off from snow cover, and the pace at which it melts, is important because it determines water availability for soil and vegetation in summer. Udall says much of the poor runoff is a result of increased evaporation due to a very warm and dry spring and summer. Over the past few months there have been a number of significant heat waves in the West, two of which were of historic proportions. The extra added heat energy vaporizes spring snow cover, and the lack of new moisture provides nothing to buffer the loss. In the Southwestern states, June through August rainfall was the lowest since 1895 and temperatures were the highest since 1895, according to NOAA. In Colorado so far, this year is the eighth warmest and second driest on record. Denver has experienced more 90-degree days than any year in its history. "We've had next to no moisture over the last 3 months which is highly unusual. The Arizona monsoon often carries moisture to Colorado but this year it was a complete bust," said Udall. The below map illustrates just how "off the charts" the atmosphere's demand for evaporation is. The more the atmosphere pulls moisture from the land, the drier and more flammable the trees, grass and brush become. 1-week EDDI (evaporative demand) was off the charts for most of Colorado and the High Plains. The data are showing what we're all experiencing: hot temperatures, dry relative humidities, and very windy conditions. The result? Out of control fire days and haboobs. #cowxpic.twitter.com/aaUrzbfk0M — ColoClimateCenter (@ColoradoClimate) October 16, 2020 Udall says that while most of the droughts of the 20th century were caused by lack of rainfall, today's droughts are mainly caused by increased evaporation due to warmer weather. But drought is usually referred to as a short-term issue, and what's happening in Colorado is not temporary. He prefers the term aridification, because climate change, due to the burning of fossil fuels and the buildup of a heat-trapping carbon pollution blanket overhead, is systematically drying out the landscape. To be sure, climate is not the only factor driving the explosion in burned area. Excess fuel buildup due to increased fire suppression in recent decades as well as increasing ignitions due to more human activity in forested areas do play a role. But experts say the marked increase can not be explained without longer-term warming and drying. Climate change and "the recipe for large forest fires" If you look back over the past century, parts of Colorado have been warming faster than anywhere else in the nation. According to data from NOAA and an analysis by the Washington Post, western and northern Colorado are warming at twice the average rate of the globe, having warmed about 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895. A study published in September found that the frequency of combined heat waves and droughts — which are more impactful when they occur in unison — has increased significantly, especially in the western U.S. For example, the type of hot-dry event that would have been expected once every 25 years in 1950, now occurs five to 10 times every 25 years. "Episodes of extreme dryness and heat are the recipe for large forest fires," said Mojtaba Sadegh, the senior author of the study. "These extremes are intensifying and extending at unprecedented spatial scales, allowing current wildfires to burn across the entire U.S. West Coast." Colorado's state climatologist Russ Schumacher agrees, telling Colorado Public Radio this is pretty well in line with climate predictions, "What we're seeing here is indicative of the fact that when the hot, dry years come around, they're hotter. ... I think the frequency of these kinds of summers where we get in these hot, dry conditions is probably going to increase." Udall agrees, and warns we should get used to what he calls "the new abnormal." "The climate system has a really good memory and the cycle of heat and dryness is hard to break," he said. Since 2000, the drought in the Western states has become so monumental that scientists are using the term "megadrought" to describe it. This spring climate scientists released a groundbreaking study saying that this is the beginning of the second worst drought in the past 1,200 years, with a "large contribution from human-caused climate change." The graph below from drought.gov shows that over the past 20 years drought has become a regular and potentially permanent part of Colorado's climate. Darker shades mean drier conditions, with D2 representing "severe drought, D3 "extreme drought" and D4 "exceptional drought." Darker shades indicate drier conditions on this graph of Colorado drought trends. Drought.gov The effects on the Colorado environment are apparent. Since the 1930s the water available from Colorado snowpack has decreased by 30%. As a result streamflow in the Colorado River has decreased markedly. In a 2018 study, Udall and co-authors found that 50% of the river runoff decline was due to higher temperatures. And this more arid climate has huge impacts, with larger wildfires and a longer fire season. In fact, wildfire season in the West is now two to three months longer than it was in the 1970s. And since 1984, human-caused climate change has led to a doubling of the area burned in the Western states, with about 50%of the increase being attributed to increases in the dryness of fuel. CBS News A 2015 study on wildfires in the Colorado Front Range Corridor found that the expansion of the wildland-urban Interface — more people living on the edge of forests — and climate change were both to blame in explaining the changing fire trends, but that climate change had a "stronger influence." Balch says that our inability to square the needs of our modern society with a rapidly changing climate is a dangerous proposition. "Ignoring the link between warming and wildfires only puts lives and homes at risk," she said. "In the contiguous U.S. 1 million homes sat within the boundaries of wildfires in the last 24 years. Nearly 59 million more homes in the wildland-urban interface lay within a kilometer of fires." The unprecedented wildfires of the past few years have certainly illuminated just how vulnerable we are to a climate which no longer plays by the rules our parents and grandparents took for granted. And considering the warming and drying projected in the coming decades, scientists say the rules will just keep on changing, making it "unlikely that the records from 2020 will stand for long."
ExxonMobil on hypothetical Trump call: "Just so we're all clear, it never happened" - CBS News
The statement came after Mr. Trump said "I'll use a company," and then suggested that he could call the "head of Exxon" and ask for campaign donations in exchange for a "couple of permits."
ExxonMobil categorically denied that President Trump and its CEO had a call where Mr. Trump asked for campaign donations in exchange for favorable policies. The statement came after Mr. Trump said "I'll use a company," and then suggested that he could call the "head of Exxon" and ask for campaign donations in exchange for a "couple of permits." "We are aware of the President's statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO…and just so we're all clear, it never happened," ExxonMobil tweeted Monday afternoon. Federal law prohibits soliciting campaign donations in exchange for specific policy outcomes. At the rally in Arizona on Monday, Mr. Trump called himself the "greatest fundraiser in history." "All I have to do is call up the head of every Wall Street firm, the head of every major company, the head of every major energy company," Mr. Trump said. "'Do me a favor, send $10 million for my campaign.' 'Yes sir.' They say, 'The only thing is, why didn't you ask for more, sir?' I would be — I would take in more money, but you now what? I don't want to do that. Because if I do that, I'm totally compromised. Because when they call me, you know, you're a loyal person, and what happens is hey, you know, you'll do things that are a lot more money. ... So I call some guy, the head of Exxon. I call the head of Exxon, I don't know, you know. I'll use a company. 'Hi, how are you doing? How's energy coming? when are you doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? Okay.' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'You know, I'd love you to send me $25 million dollars for the campaign. 'Absolutely, sir, why didn't you ask?'" Mr. Trump lately has lately trailed his Democratic rival Joe Biden in fundraising. Biden shattered September fundraising records and erased Mr. Trump's cash on hand advantage, and Mr. Trump spent the weekend fundraising. At a rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Mr. Trump said he "could have more money" if he was willing to "call up Wall Street," but "then when they call you, you've got to take that call."
Gretchen Whitmer goes door-to-door for Biden in Michigan weeks after kidnapping plot - CBS News
"CBS This Morning" follows Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's voter outreach effort for our series, "At America's Crossroads," looking at 3 battleground states.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer spent her weekend going door to door to hear from voters in her state's Oakland County. It was part of a get-out-the-vote effort in a ring of suburban areas surrounding Detroit — crucial territory in a battleground state that President Trump only won by a razor-thin margin in 2016. "Health care for all is very important to me," one Michigan voter told her. Another voter told the governor the most important issue in the 2020 election for her was the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm a physician, and the handling of the pandemic has been horrific," she said. In Michigan, where hundreds of thousands of people cast their ballots for a third party candidate or did not vote at all in 2016, Mr. Trump carried 47% of support. While it was a majority, the slim margin meant most Michiganders woke up unhappy with the election's results. The Biden campaign had put a pandemic-related pause on campaign door-knocking until October. The Trump campaign did not. Now Whitmer, dog treats in hand and just weeks after federal authorities unraveled an extensive plot to kidnap her, is at the forefront of an effort to make up for lost ground. Alleged Michigan militia members in court01:16 "They're very proud of their ground game," said "CBS This Morning" co-host Tony Dokoupil of the Trump campaign's outreach, noting to Whitmer that the Trump team, "say they've been knocking on doors long before you guys started." "I can't tell you what they've been doing," Whitmer replied. "I can tell you we've been taking this pandemic seriously." Whitmer has previously blamed the president's rhetoric, which included a tweet that read "LIBERATE MICHIGAN," for emboldening the militia members who allegedly planned to kidnap her and overthrow the state government. In a series of Twitter posts, Mr. Trump appeared to condemn the violence, while also criticizing Whitmer's governing. At a rally in Michigan, the president also declined to stop chants of "lock her up" in relation to Whitmer. "Ten days after a plot to kidnap — to put me on trial and then to murder me — ten days later, they're back in Michigan using the same rhetoric," Whitmer said. She blasted the president's rhetoric as "dangerous" and despite appealing personally to the White House, said they "haven't done a darn thing" to ease tensions. "It falls on deaf ears every time," she said. Evidence presented in Whitmer kidnapping case...02:00 The Biden campaign knows it needs to outperform Hillary Clinton's 2016 effort — she lost by less than 11,000 votes, the thinnest margin of any state. According to Whitmer, the issue then was "historically low" turnout. "We don't have tidal waves here in Michigan, but I do think that this year is going to dwarf anything we've ever seen," the governor said. "I think that bodes well for Joe Biden, and I think it bodes well for Michigan." Mr. Trump, for his part, has held multiple rallies, imploring suburban voters — namely women — to turn out for him, claiming he has "saved" the suburbs. "These suburbs didn't need to be saved," Whitmer laughed, dismissing the president's "dog whistles." She said the people in the Detroit suburbs "care as much about equity," education, clean water and climate change as anybody. Forty minutes away, in Detroit, Michigan Republican Chairwoman Laura Cox said she was confident the Trump campaign is "in a great place." The campaign claims to have knocked on 1 million doors in Michigan alone, and Cox said even Whitmer's efforts may not make a difference this close to the election. "We're gonna win again for the president and vice president. The enthusiasm is palpable," Cox said. Asked what "enthusiasm" meant in regards to graffiti scrawled across the walls of the GOP's Black Voices Headquarters, Cox replied, "It tells me that we're getting under their skin, and our messages are resonating, and they're worried." Detroit is the largest majority-Black city in the U.S., and could be the biggest reason Mr. Trump triumphed in Michigan in 2016 — Hillary Clinton won the county by a landslide, but with 76,000 fewer votes than former President Barack Obama. To see Democrats' efforts to make up for that loss firsthand, Dokoupil stopped at a voter registration event hosted by Detroit Action, a community group trying to bring more voters to the polls. Musician Mic Phelps, who performed at the event, said he didn't even bother voting in 2016. He said he had believed the country had, "a history of promising change to certain groups," without then delivering on those promises. This election, however, he said the stakes are clear to him, and to those around him. "All of my friends who never really get into politics are all in it right now," Phelps said. "They're going to vote. They registered. They're voting from home, voting at the polls… I've seen a lot more excitement." Tony Doukopil's series "At America's Crossroads" continues on CBS This Morning on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 a.m.
SpaceX launches 14th batch of Starlink internet satellites in fast-growing fleet - CBS News
It was the first of two planned Starlink launchings in just three days.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fired 60 more Starlink internet relay satellites into orbit Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center with another set awaiting launch Wednesday from the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. With Sunday's flight, SpaceX has now launched 835 Starlinks in a rapidly-expanding global network that eventually will feature thousands of commercial broadband beacons delivering high-speed internet to any point on Earth. To reach that goal, the company plans to launch at least 120 new Starlinks every month. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center early Sundayt carrying another 60 Starlink internet satellites to orbit. William Harwood/CBS News The latest Starlink mission, SpaceX's 14th, got underway at 8:26 a.m. EDT when the Falcon 9's nine first stage engines ignited with a burst of flame, pushing the slender rocket away from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center atop 1.7 million pounds of thrust. Making its sixth flight, the first stage propelled the rocket out of the dense lower atmosphere and then fell away and headed for landing an offshore droneship. Touchdown marked SpaceX's 62nd successful booster recovery since December 2015, its 42nd at sea. Less than a minute after stage separation, the two halves of the rocket's nose cone fairing, both veterans of two earlier missions, fell away for parachute descents to capture netting aboard waiting recovery ships. Both were successfully recovered, although one appeared to break through its netting, possibly hitting the deck of its ship. The second stage, meanwhile, pressed ahead to orbit and after two firings of its vacuum-rated Merlin engine, all 60 Starlinks were released to fly on their own about an hour after liftoff. None the worse for six trips to space and back, a SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage carried out a pinpoint landing on a company droneship after helping launch another batch of Starlink internet satellites. SpaceX Sunday's launch marked SpaceX's second Falcon 9 flight since October 2 when a last-second abort blocked launch of a Space Force Global Positioning System navigation satellite. That flight remains on hold while company engineers assess an apparent issue with engine turbopump machinery. SpaceX has not provided any details about how the engines used Sunday and those used during a Starlink flight October 18 might be different from those used for the GPS mission. Likewise, there's been no word from SpaceX or NASA on whether the engine issue poses any threat to the planned launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station atop a Falcon 9 next month. Sunday's launch was the 18th Falcon 9 flight so far this year, the 95th since the rocket's debut in 2010, the 98th counting three launches of the triple-core Falcon Heavy. The Falcon 9 has suffered two catastrophic failures, one in flight and one during pre-launch testing.
Michigan bans openly carrying guns at polling places on Election Day - CBS News
The announcement comes amid rising fears of violence on Election Day.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday that people will not be allowed to openly carry guns "in a polling place, in any hallway used by voters to enter or exit, or within 100 feet of any entrance to a building in which a polling place is located" on Election Day. "The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk's office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present," Benson wrote in her memo. Individuals can leave their firearms in their cars within 100 feet of a building if they are legally allowed to do so. Benson also noted that concealed carry will not be allowed in any building that already prohibits the practice. The announcement comes amid rising fears of violence on Election Day. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told Showtime's "The Circus" that they are preparing for "every potential scenario" on Election Day. "The most important thing is this, we don't want people to harass voters when they are in the process of exercising what is a fundamental right, which is their right to vote," she said. "And I feel like it's my job to do everything I can to ensure there is a safe and secure vote, and I'm hopeful law enforcement will agree." Joey Roberts, the president of Open Carry Michigan Inc., said Saturday that his organization doesn't feel Benson has the legal authority to ban openly carrying guns. He said the group is currently discussing its options to fight the ban, and he said "ligation is on the table." "There's been some talk about some gun bans at the state Capitol and that kind of stuff, and we were aware of that, but this caught us all by surprise," Roberts said. Michigan's House and Senate have introduced bills to permanently ban guns at the state Capitol building. In April, armed protesters entered the building in Lansing and stood in the gallery above lawmakers during a protest against coronavirus restrictions. Benson's action comes just weeks after the announcement of charges against individuals accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and storm the state Capitol. Two of the 14 individuals charged were photographed at the April protest. Whitmer has drawn a direct line between the political rhetoric, especially amid the lockdowns, and the alleged plot to kidnap her. When President Trump mentioned her during a recent rally, the crowd chanted "lock her up" and Mr. Trump said "lock them all up." Whitmer tweeted shortly after Mr. Trump's comments, "This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans. It needs to stop."
Diet cola TAB is the latest victim of the pandemic - CBS News
After 57 years, TAB, The Coca-Cola Company's first diet soda, is being discontinued. TAB sales have dwindled ever since the introduction of Diet Coke, and the coronavirus pandemic has made even the beverage giant look for areas to cut costs. Lilia Luciano rep…
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French president denounces "Islamist terrorist attack" against teacher who was decapitated after allegedly showing Muhammed caricatures - CBS News
The suspected attacker was shot to death by police after Friday's beheading.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an "Islamist terrorist attack" against a history teacher decapitated in a Paris suburb Friday, urging the nation to stand united against extremism. The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said. The suspected attacker was shot to death by police after Friday's beheading. The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation concerning murder with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor's office said. Police officers secure the area near the scene of a stabbing attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine, France, October 16, 2020. CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the town of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with staff after the slaying. An Associated Press reporter saw three ambulances arrive at the scene, as well as heavily armed police surrounding the area and police vans lining leafy nearby streets. "One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught ... the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe," Macron said. He said the attack shouldn't divide France because that's what the extremists want. "We must stand all together as citizens," he said. The gruesome killing of the teacher occurred in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine while the suspect was killed by police in adjoining Eragny. A police official said the suspect, armed with a knife and an airsoft gun — which fires plastic pellets — was shot dead about 600 yards from where the male teacher was killed after he failed to respond to orders to put down his arms and acted in a threatening manner. The teacher had received threats after opening a discussion "for a debate" about the caricatures about 10 days ago, the police official told The Associated Press. The parent of a student had filed a complaint against the teacher, another police official said, adding that the suspected killer did not have a child at the school. The suspect's identity was not made public. French media reported that the suspect was an 18-year-old Chechen, born in Moscow. That information could not be immediately confirmed. The two officials could not be named because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing investigations. French police officers gather outside a high school after a history teacher who opened a discussion with students on caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad was beheaded, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris. Michel Euler / AP France has offered asylum to many Chechens since the Russian military waged war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s, and there are Chechen communities scattered around France. France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen community in recent months, in the Dijon region, the Mediterranean city of Nice, and the western town of Saint-Dizier, believed linked to local criminal activity. The attack came as Macron is pushing for a new law against what he calls domestic "separatism," notably by Islamic radicals accused of indoctrinating vulnerable people through home schools, extremist preaching and other activities. France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe with up to 5 million members, and Islam is the country's No. 2 religion. "We didn't see this coming," Conflans resident Remi Tell said on CNews TV station. He described the town as peaceful. It was the second terrorism-related incident since the opening of an ongoing trial on the newsroom massacre in January 2015 at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the publication of caricatures of the prophet of Islam. As the trial opened, the paper republished caricatures of the prophet to underscore the right of freedom of expression. Exactly three weeks ago, a young man from Pakistan was arrested after stabbing two people who suffered non life-threatening injuries outside the newspaper's former offices. The 18-year-old told police he was upset about the publication of the caricatures. The incident came as Macron's government is working on a bill to address Islamist radicals who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside the values of the French Republic.