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Tribune News Service

News Budget for Saturday, November 21, 2020

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Updated at 11 p.m. EST (0400 UTC).

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Adds CORONAVIRUS-REGENERON:BLO, CMP-DUKE-CORONAVIRUS:LA, CORONAVIRUS-MEXICO:LA, ELN-WASHGOV-CULP:SE, ELN-TRUMP-TOOMEY:BLO

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Updates ELN-PA-LAWSUIT:PH

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Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^'Not how the Constitution works': Federal judge tosses Trump suit seeking to disrupt Pa. election results<

ELN-PA-LAWSUIT-2ND-LEDE:PH — With a withering opinion, a federal judge on Saturday threw out President Donald Trump's last remaining legal challenge seeking to invalidate Pennsylvania's election results, all but ensuring the state will finalize its vote tally as planned this week.

U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann described the case put forth by the president's campaign as a tortured "Frankenstein's Monster" and the remedy they sought — effectively disenfranchising nearly 7 million voters in the state — as "unhinged."

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^Michigan, national GOP seek to delay certification of election results<

ELN-MICH-GOP-1ST-LEDE:DTN — The Michigan and national Republican parties have asked the Board of State Canvassers to delay certification of the state's election results in a bid to investigate "anomalies and irregularities" alleged to have occurred in Michigan's Nov. 3 election.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel asked the state to conduct a "full, transparent audit" before certification, noting other states like Georgia "have taken discretionary steps" in determining their results.

The Board of State Canvassers is scheduled to meet Monday to consider certification.

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^Trump maintains unproven 'massive' fraud claim as Michigan lawmakers depart his hotel<

ELN-MICH-TRUMP:DTN — President Donald Trump reiterated his unproven claim that there was "massive voter fraud" in Michigan's election on Saturday, a day after he met with Republican lawmakers from the state at the White House.

In Saturday morning tweets, as multiple Michigan lawmakers departed the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the president responded to a joint statement put out by Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. Their Friday statement suggested the lawmakers used the meeting to focus on COVID-19 relief and not the certification of Michigan's election results.

"Massive voter fraud will be shown!" Trump tweeted at about 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning in response to a post by Chatfield.

800 by Craig Mauger and Melissa Nann Burke in Washington. MOVED

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^Regeneron gets emergency US clearance for COVID-19 therapy<

CORONAVIRUS-REGENERON:BLO — Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s antibody cocktail received an emergency use authorization from U.S. drug regulators for treatment of early COVID-19 symptoms, adding to the expanding arsenal of therapies available to physicians.

The treatment, administered to President Donald Trump after he contracted the coronavirus in October, consists of two monoclonal antibodies that target the spike protein used by the virus to enter cells. Trump was treated with the drug based on a compassionate-use request by his doctors.

"In a clinical trial of patients with COVID-19, casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together, were shown to reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days after treatment when compared to placebo," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement on Saturday. "The safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy for use in the treatment of COVID-19 continues to be evaluated."

300 by Robert Langreth and Angelica LaVito in New York. MOVED

^Trump stays mum on sharing vaccines as leaders push for equality<

^G20:BLO—<Leaders of the world's richest countries pushed for equality in the race to vaccinate people against the coronavirus, while President Donald Trump stayed quiet on sharing U.S.-made vaccines with other nations.

The battle to counter the pandemic dominated the first day of a virtual summit of Group of 20 nations on Saturday, hosted by Saudi Arabia.

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^CORONAVIRUS<

^UNITED STATES<

^Grocery store rationing is back, but relax: The supply chain is doing fine<

^CORONAVIRUS-GROCERYSTORE-SHORTAGES:LA—<Hard times have returned to the nation's toilet paper aisles.

With coronavirus cases and lockdowns once again on the rise, shoppers are reverting to the panic-buying patterns of the early days of the pandemic. In response, grocery companies such as Target, Kroger and Albertsons have reinstated purchase limits on toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies.

But this time, the grocery companies say, they're putting limits in place specifically to avoid the empty shelves many consumers faced in the spring — and industry experts say the grocers and suppliers are prepared for the winter wave.

800 by Sam Dean. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED

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^No bacon, no bath tissue: Panic buying's back with COVID surge<

^CORONAVIRUS-HOARDING:BLO—<We're out of toilet paper again.

Households across the U.S. are once again filling grocery carts brimful in a second round of panic buying as the virus surges and states clamp down on economic activity. Defensive purchasing is affecting everything from paper towels to bacon. Even the world's biggest retailer is reporting shortages of high-demand items, including cleaning supplies, breakfast foods — and the most important commodity in any bathroom.

900 by Anne Riley Moffat, Carolina Gonzalez and Sarah McGregor. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED

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^Can harm reduction, the philosophy that stems HIV transmission and heroin overdoses, help curb a Thanksgiving COVID-19 meltdown?<

CORONAVIRUS-HARMREDUCTION:TB — Millions of Americans appear set to defy government guidance to stay home this Thanksgiving, disregarding the growing peril of COVID-19 to gather with distant loved ones. To Erica Ernst, it is a familiar scenario.

She is president of the Chicago Recovery Alliance, a group that tries to minimize the odds of HIV transmission and drug overdose through harm reduction, which aims to minimize the danger of risky behavior rather than try to stop it altogether.

Ernst said this phase of the pandemic reminds her of the early days of the HIV crisis, when people lapsed into denial, fatalism or exhaustion instead of taking simple steps to protect themselves.

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^Thanksgiving 1918 took place during a deadly pandemic. What can it teach us for Thanksgiving this year?<

^CORONAVIRUS-THANKSGIVING1918-LESSONS:PH—<The month before, the so-called Spanish flu was blamed for killing 11,000 in Philadelphia.

The epidemic that ultimately would claim an estimated 675,000 American lives — probably a tremendous underestimate since it didn't include countless deaths involving preexisting conditions — was on fire in the fall of 1918.

Yet on Nov. 28, 1918, the nation celebrated Thanksgiving. Exuberantly.

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^Duke University schools the country on how to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic<

CMP-DUKE-CORONAVIRUS:LA — Duke University is sometimes referred to as a pretty good knock-off of fancier schools farther north. But while those ivy-clad universities with smart students, prestigious medical schools and big endowments stayed closed this fall, Duke invited its freshmen, sophomores, some upperclassmen and all of its graduate students to its Durham, North Carolina, campus for largely in-person classes.

Now, it's schooling those sniffier schools on how to reopen safely.

Starting Aug. 2 and continuing up to this week, when the Duke campus made a pre-planned reversion to online classes for the remainder of the semester, the university implemented a rigorous testing, tracking and surveillance program for more than 10,000 students. And it has carried out, on a grand scale, an innovative scheme — called pooled testing — that can stretch limited testing resources without forfeiting accuracy or resolution.

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^Gov. Parson considering deploying National Guard to help Missouri's hospitals<

CORONAVIRUS-MO:SL — State and local officials, scrambling to prepare for an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 patients, are in talks to stem the tide, including options such as building a field hospital, canceling all but the most urgent medical procedures and deploying the Missouri National Guard to relieve health care staffing shortages.

Hospital leaders are even discussing how to choose which patients to serve first when resources are limited.

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^CDC escalates warning for cruise travel, urging avoidance<

^CORONAVIRUS-CRUISES:BLO—<The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has escalated its warning for cruise travel to the highest level and continued to recommend avoiding any trips on cruise ships worldwide.

The agency raised its warning to Level 4 from Level 3, citing "very high" risk of COVID-19 on cruise ships. Passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of COVID-19 and should get tested and stay home for at least seven days after travel, according to its website.

"For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date," the CDC said.

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^Don't travel for Thanksgiving, health experts say. But if you do, follow these tips<

^CORONAVIRUS-THANKSGIVING-TRAVELTIPS:AU—<Thanksgiving travel week is upon us, but coronavirus cases have surged across the country and sapped much of that annual excitement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued advice last week that couldn't have come at a worse time for those hoping for holiday comfort from loved ones: Postpone travel and stay home to best protect yourself and others from getting or spreading the virus.

While some folks will defy that advice for their own reasons, others are compelled to travel because of colleges closing for winter break or as part of their job as essential workers. So here are a few tips to help you stay safe on that journey this week.

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^California's new stay-at-home order now in effect: What you need to know<

^CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-STAYATHOME:LA—<A modified stay-at-home order went into effect for much of California Saturday morning, part of a new effort to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Here are the details of the order:

—Prohibits most nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in purple tier counties. Activities banned include all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside one's residence, lodging or temporary accommodation with members of other households.

—Allows people to leave home to walk their dog or take walks with people they live with, buy groceries or pick up drugs at the pharmacy late at night, pick up or receive takeout food, travel to the emergency room or urgent care or for other essential purposes;

—Lasts through Dec. 21, though it could be extended.

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^US soars past 12 million coronavirus cases<

^CORONAVIRUS-US:NY—<More than 12 million people in the U.S. have now been infected with coronavirus.

The virus has spread rapidly in recent weeks, as the country hit 10 million cases Nov. 9 and the 11 million mark Nov. 15.

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^Cuomo: New York records 5,972 new COVID-19 cases in high since April as numbers rise in city<

CORONAVIRUS-NY:NY — New York recorded a seven-month statewide high of 5,972 new coronavirus cases as numbers continue to soar in hotspots and upstate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

The shocking state caseload recorded Friday was the most for a single day since late April, when the city and metro area was still reeling from the deadly first wave of the pandemic.

350 by Nicholas Williams and Dave Goldiner in New York. MOVED

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^ 'People need to know it is real': North Carolina passes 5,000 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic worsens.<

CORONAVIRUS-NC:RA — Recalling his grandmother, the Rev. Mycal Brickhouse sorts through the treasure box in his memory: how she never let him miss Sunday school, how she cheered his becoming a pastor, how she made him fetch her a sweet tea when he got home from school.

At 67, Patricia Brickhouse, better known as "Mama," had survived cancer. So when the coronavirus pandemic arrived, she stayed at home in Fayetteville, keeping clear of grocery stores and crowds. Coronavirus struck her anyway, taking her in July after almost month in the hospital.

1200 by Josh Shaffer and Lucille Sherman in Raleigh, N.C. MOVED

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^COVID-19 in Florida: Cases up 49% compared to prior week<

CORONAVIRUS-FLA:FL — Florida on Saturday added 8,410 new cases of COVID-19 to its pandemic tally, ending its worst week for infections since Aug. 1.

Department of Health records show 56,732 people tested positive for the virus over the past week, continuing a monthlong trend.

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^Minnesota reports 6,265 new COVID-19 cases, 51 more deaths<

CORONAVIRUS-MINN:MS — Minnesota is reporting 51 new deaths and more than 6,200 new coronavirus cases, according to state Department of Health figures released Saturday morning.

The state's one-day count of 6,265 new cases came on a very high volume of about 52,025 newly completed tests.

350 by Christopher Snowbeck in Minneapolis. MOVED

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^Maryland reports 2,885 new coronavirus cases, second-highest daily total during pandemic<

CORONAVIRUS-MD:BZ — Maryland officials reported 2,885 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus Saturday, the state's second-highest daily total during the pandemic.

Officials said 16 more people have died since Friday in connection with COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

300 by Lorraine Mirabella in Baltimore. MOVED

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^Michigan surpasses 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, just 15 days after passing 200,000<

CORONAVIRUS-MICH:DE — Michigan now has more than 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

That is just fifteen days after surpassing 200,000 cases on Nov. 6.

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^Michigan releases COVID-19 testing turnaround data; current estimated time is nearly 3 days<

CORONAVIRUS-MICH-TESTING:DE — The state of Michigan has added a new feature to its regular pandemic updates that now shows the turnaround time of coronavirus tests in labs across the state.

The chart specifically tracks the estimated turnaround time for COVID-19 virus diagnostic testing results reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the last 14 days. It also breaks down every Michigan lab, commercial or public, and their individual turnaround times.

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^US air travelers surge more than 1 million in holiday-season uptick<

^CORONAVIRUS-AIRTRAVEL-HOLIDAY:BLO—< More than 1 million people flew through U.S. domestic airports on Friday, the second-highest daily total since the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring, even as officials warn against travel around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Airline passengers still lag substantially normal levels, but data posted by the Transportation Security Administration show that at least some people are bucking suggestions they stay home in light of the rapid growth in COVID-19 infections.

A total of 1,019,836 people passed through U.S. airport security screening portals on Friday, 40% of the nearly 2.6 million who flew on the equivalent day last year, according to TSA data.

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^Active COVID-19 cases found in record number of long-term care facilities in Washington state<

CORONAVIRUS-WASHSTATE-NURSINGHOMES:SE — The number of Washington long-term care facilities with at least one active case of COVID-19 has surpassed 300 — a record number that's likely to increase as the virus spreads in communities across the state.

It's unknown how many cases are in each of the 339 facilities; the number of cases can range from one staff member testing positive to 99 total cases among residents and staff, like the recent outbreak at a Stanwood facility, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. But in the span of one week, from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, the number of infections connected to long-term care facilities grew by about 460 cases, including 35 deaths.

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^Gov. Gavin Newsom's child to quarantine after schoolmate's positive COVID-19 test<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-NEWSOM-CHILD:LA — One of Gov. Gavin Newsom's four children is quarantining at home after a Sacramento private school classmate tested positive for COVID-19, the governor's office said Friday.

No one in the Newsom family has tested positive for the coronavirus, said the governor's communications director, Nathan Click. All six family members, he said, are observing quarantine procedures and have been for several days.

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^Coronavirus curfew: Here's how law enforcement agencies will — or won't — enforce it<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-CURFEW-ENFORCEMENT:LA — Despite a major surge in coronavirus cases, many Southern California policing agencies say they're taking an education-first approach to the new curfew that took effect for much of the state Saturday rather than aggressive enforcement.

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^THE WORLD<

^Mexico crosses grim coronavirus milestones: 100,000 dead, 1 million infections<

CORONAVIRUS-MEXICO:LA — It was time for a break, Marisela Perez decided, a chance to ditch concerns about masks and social distancing and the pervasive fear of infection. She and her husband gathered up the couple's two children, aged 10 and 6, and drove last weekend to Acapulco.

"My kids are stuck at home all day, doing their classes online, never getting out, " said Perez, 37, a cosmetics saleswoman. "I see them angry, full of anxiety. How is that possible? They are only kids! So we took them to the beach. I haven't seen them this happy in months."

On Thursday, Mexico passed a doleful milestone: The country's pandemic death toll topped 100,000. Only the United States, Brazil and India have more.

Five days earlier, Mexico recorded infection number 1 million. Mexico ranks 11th on the global infection list, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

950 (with trims) by Patrick J. McDonnell and Cecilia Sanchez in Mexico City. MOVED

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^SCIENCE AND MEDICINE<

^Face mask trial didn't stop coronavirus spread, but it shows why more mask-wearing is needed<

^CORONAVIRUS-MASKS-TRIAL:LA—<Back in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers in Denmark decided to conduct an usual experiment to test the infection-fighting power of face masks the same way they'd evaluate a potential vaccine or drug.

At the time, mask use was not recommended by Danish health authorities, and fewer than 5% of residents used them outside of hospital settings. Those conditions made it possible to conduct the first — and only — randomized controlled trial of the face coverings.

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^Testing poop to predict Miami's COVID-19 trends? It's been a messy process so far<

^CORONAVIRUS-TESTING-WASTEWATER:MI—< In March, when it became clear that the U.S. was facing an unprecedented pandemic, Miami-Dade County began sampling its sewage as a potential tool for measuring the extent of COVID-19 infections. The hope was that testing the county's poop for the coronavirus could serve as an early warning indicator of a dreaded second wave expected in the fall.

Now, with cases rising all over the country and Florida experiencing a steady increase to levels not seen since August, what is the sewage saying?

The short answer: Not much, at least not yet. The process got off to a slow, messy start but they've cleaned up the data and there is still some promise it will work.

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^WASHINGTON<

^Spat over veterans health care emergency funds stalls spending deal<

CONGRESS-SPENDING:CON — A dispute over veterans health care funding is holding up bipartisan negotiations on the framework for an omnibus spending package that would avoid a partial government shutdown next month, according to sources familiar with the talks.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is insisting that $12.5 billion for veterans' medical care should not be classified as emergency spending that is exempt from budget caps, these people said.

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Also moving as:

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^US, Taiwan sign pact to hold annual economic talks for 5 years<

USTAIWAN:BLO — The U.S. and Taiwan signed a pact to establish annual economic talks for five years despite objections by China to Washington's support for Taipei.

The memorandum of understanding was signed after an inaugural round of economic talks in Washington on Friday. Future discussions will alternate between the U.S. and Taipei, Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, said in a briefing in Taipei on Saturday.

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^Rep. Rosa DeLauro aims to take over chair of powerful House Appropriations Committee in next Congress<

CONGRESS-DELAURO:HC — U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is lining up support for a bid to lead the powerful Appropriations Committee, a position that could bring significant federal aid to Connecticut.

The 15-term Democrat from New Haven is facing Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the controversial former head of the Democratic National Committee, and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, the longest serving woman in the U.S. House.

650 by Daniela Altimari in Hartford, Conn. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED

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^POLITICS<

^Biden considering Lisa Monaco, Sally Yates for attorney general<

BIDEN-ATTORNEYGENERAL:BLO — The Biden transition team is weighing attorney general contenders led by Lisa Monaco, who held key national security posts in the Obama administration, and Sally Yates, who gained fame when she was fired by President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The choice of either would help President-elect Joe Biden achieve his goal of having women represented at the highest levels of his administration.

Other candidates under consideration include Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who lost his reelection bid this month, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, one person said.

Monaco and Yates had extensive careers inside the Justice Department and previously held positions that required Senate confirmation. But her history of tussling with the Trump White House might make Yates's approval harder if the Senate is still controlled by Republicans.

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^How will California Gov. Newsom pick Kamala Harris' replacement? Ethnicity, electability, experience?<

CALIFSENATE-SELECTION:SA — To say that Gov. Gavin Newsom is under pressure is an understatement.

The chance to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate does not come along often. It has happened only a handful of times before in the state, most recently in 1991, and it represents an opportunity to install an official that could serve in one of the most powerful government bodies for, potentially, decades. The governor must name a successor to the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate and the first woman to ever be elected vice president.

It's a historic appointment, and everybody has an idea of who they want to fill the spot.

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^Trump challenge to election results hits hardest at Black voters<

ELN-TRUMP-BLACKVOTERS:BLO — President Donald Trump's longshot bid to overturn the election focuses on invalidating ballots cast in Philadelphia, Detroit and other heavily Democratic cities, an effort that would disenfranchise a disproportionate number of Black voters if successful.

While the Trump campaign says it is merely targeting places where fraud is most likely to have occurred, the racial cast to the president's attempt to cling to power has drawn criticism from Democrats. The president's lawyers have not presented evidence of widespread fraud in court and he has had little success so far with his legal challenges.

"The targeting of the African-American community is not subtle," Bob Bauer, legal adviser to President-elect Joe Biden's campaign, said Friday. "I think it's quite remarkable how brazen that is. It's very, very disturbing."

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^GOP's Toomey says Trump should concede and start transition<

ELN-TRUMP-TOOMEY:BLO — Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said President Donald Trump "has exhausted all plausible legal options" in Pennsylvania, and that it was time for Trump to concede that Joe Biden won the presidential election.

"President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process," Toomey said in a lengthy statement Saturday night after a Trump campaign lawsuit that challenged the Pennsylvania vote was thrown out. The campaign has vowed to appeal.

The Pennsylvania senator noted that the judge in the case, Matthew Brann, was "a longtime conservative Republican," even though he was appointed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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^Stacey Abrams' group funds grassroots efforts to win Georgia's Senate runoffs<

GASENATE-RUNOFF-ABRAMS:AT — The voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams is pumping $2.7 million to boost the work of a network of grassroots organizations ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs — not to finance more TV ads but to strengthen their get-out-the-vote apparatus.

Fair Fight announced Saturday it was contributing to 13 groups to "build the infrastructure to ensure voters are empowered and informed" said Fair Fight senior adviser Lauren Groh Wargo.

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^Loren Culp, refusing to concede Washington gubernatorial race, turns on top Republicans<

ELN-WASHGOV-CULP:SE — Loren Culp lost Washington's gubernatorial race by more than 545,000 votes, but he's not conceding — and says he's not going away.

Culp, the Republican who took 43% of the statewide vote against Gov. Jay Inslee, has taken a page from President Donald Trump's playbook by attempting to sow doubts about the election results and lobbing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

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^UNITED STATES<

^New details in notorious 1990 'killer clown' case show why prosecutors are so sure who was under the wig<

FLA-KILLERCLOWN:FL — After South Florida's killer clown slipped away three decades ago, witnesses told investigators the culprit wearing white makeup and an orange wig looked like a man.

But finally it's been revealed that evidence found in the getaway car — a strand of burgundy head hair with the root attached — is why authorities in 2017 unmasked the clown as a woman: Sheila Keen Warren.

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^Accused Kenosha killer Kyle Rittenhouse smiles in photo with 'Silver Spoons' star who helped bail him out<

^WIS-PROTEST-KILLINGS-BAIL:NY—<Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with gunning down two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, posed for a photo with actor Ricky Schroder and his attorney after posting bail Friday.

All three smiled, celebrating the occasion.

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^Porn star and three Marines, all white supremacists, charged in federal gun conspiracy<

^SUPREMACISTS-GUNCHARGES:NY—<Four white supremacists have been charged in a conspiracy to build, transport and sell illegal guns, the Justice Department announced Friday in a press release.

Paul Kryscuk, a 35-year-old reported porn star, sold multiple manufactured weapons to 21-year-old then-Marine Liam Collins, the feds said. Kryscuk allegedly mailed the illegal DIY weapons from his homes in New York and Idaho to Collins in North Carolina.

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^'Willy-nilly' spending: Critics slam plan to use taxpayer money to back Black Lives Matter and charities<

FLA-BROWARD-CHARITIES:FL — Broward County commissioners again are taking the controversial step of giving away taxpayer money to charities and social movements — with this year's list of beneficiaries including Black Lives Matter and New Florida Majority, two groups that prodded voters to the polls in the presidential election.

The commissioners' spending — sometimes derisively called "slush fund" spending — has long drawn scrutiny. But the practice still has carried on during the past five years. This year's spending, totaling more than $144,000, comes as some commissioners themselves have questioned in recent years if doling out taxpayer money to organizations is the right thing to do.

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^Grand opening of Colorado In-N-Out burger joint sparks traffic jams, parking lot brawls and 14-hour wait times<

^COLO-RESTAURANT:NY—<The grand opening of an In-N-Out Burger joint in Colorado sparked massive traffic jams, parking lot brawls, and a wait for food lasting, in some instances, up to 14 hours.

Food fans flocked to the new restaurants on Friday, eager for their chance to order from iconic California-based fast food chain. By the time afternoon rolled around however, authorities estimated the line for food in Aurora stretched more than a mile long.

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^THE WORLD<

^Pompeo meets Taliban, Afghan officials as violence continues<

^USAFGHAN-POMPEO:BLO—<Secretary of State Michael Pompeo met officials from the Taliban and Afghan government in Qatar on Saturday as the U.S. seeks to keep peace negotiations on track amid renewed violence and a surprise move by the White House to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The Trump administration will "sit on the side and help where we can," Pompeo said at a meeting with Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, Afghanistan's state minister for peace and a member of the negotiating team. "I would be most interested in getting your thoughts on how we can increase the probability of successful outcome that I know we share."

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^Trump will leave office foiled by the North Korea nuclear problem. Will Biden fare better?<

US-NKOREA:LA — President Donald Trump's cool-headed nuclear envoy told the North Koreans it was "a window of opportunity."

Here was a U.S. president willing to venture far outside traditional diplomacy, particularly with regard to a pariah nation like North Korea. As quick as he was to fire off insults on Twitter and threaten "fire and fury," Trump stunned many by agreeing to meet with leader Kim Jong Un — even stepping onto North Korean soil when he crossed the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

"You know how to reach us," said Stephen Biegun, now the deputy secretary of state, in late 2019. But at the end of all the photo ops and summitry, North Korea wasn't buying the deal Trump was selling.

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^Brazilians protest after grocery store security guards kill Black man<

^BRAZIL-KILLING-PROTEST:BLO—<Street protests swept across Brazil and shops were looted after a video went viral showing grocery store security guards beating a Black man to death.

Two Carrefour outsourced employees were filmed killing the 40-year-old man in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on Thursday. The man, who was shopping with his wife, had a disagreement with employees at the checkout, local media reported. The guards were white, according to the reports.

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^Opposition in Georgia boycotts last round of parliamentary elections<

GEORGIA-ELECTION:DPA — Under a boycott by the opposition, the South Caucasus republic of Georgia on Saturday held its last round of parliamentary elections, which were accompanied by protests.

There were still 17 seats to fill in parliament, for which only candidates from the ruling Georgian Dream party were standing.

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^TODAY'S TOP NEWSFEATURES<

^<

These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.

^Born into occupation, young Afghans fear the Taliban will crush their freedoms when US troops exit<

USAFGHAN-YOUNGAFGHANS:LA — His hair in a bun, face shadowed by his hoodie, Jawad Sezdah raps with his "homies" about Afghanistan's darkening future.

He and his friends sit in a circle at what they call their club, a second-floor makeshift studio in west Kabul's Pul-e-Surkhta neighborhood. They smoke weed, drink tea and practice freestyle lyrics. A picture of Tupac Shakur is taped on the wall.

But the lives the 22-year-old Kabul University student and others of his generation have forged in the nearly two decades since America invaded their country are at risk as never before. The U.S.-led invasion has brought the trappings of the West and a small degree of its promised freedoms, but many here are fearful those gains are about to evaporate.

They are a generation not so much adrift as stuck between opposing forces.

2050 by David S. Cloud and Stefanie Glinski in Kabul, Afghanistan. MOVED

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^Biden promised teachers a raise, but education reforms will be a big lift in pandemic<

BIDEN-EDUCATION:WA — President-elect Joe Biden promised to give teachers a pay raise and direct more money to schools that serve low-income children, but those education reforms will have to take a back seat to emergency needs as schools fight to save teacher jobs and close funding gaps during the pandemic.

Education groups say that more than half a million teachers and school personnel have been laid off and more turmoil is on the horizon unless the federal government steps in with emergency funding. Those critical needs must be addressed first, they said, over the more aspirational parts of Biden's education agenda.

Biden's education plan to "give teachers a raise" and "eliminate the funding gap between white and non-white districts" relies on expanding the federal education aid provision known as Title I, which he cannot do without Congress.

Additional funding for low-income schools and an increase in teacher compensation will be difficult to achieve, especially if Republicans keep control of the Senate, education experts said.

1600 (with trims) by Francesca Chambers in Washington. MOVED

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^'Invisible campaign' and the specter of socialism: Why Cuban Americans fell hard for Trump<

TRUMP-CUBANAMERICANS:MI — Following his surprising victory in 2016, Donald Trump claimed he got 80% of the Cuban American vote in South Florida.

He was exaggerating.

But 2020 was a different story.

Years of courting voters with tough policies toward Cuba and Venezuela, a strong pre-pandemic economy, an unmatched Republican ground game in Miami-Dade and a targeted messaging instilling fear about socialism coming to America helped the president rally Cuban American voters, part of the reason he carried Florida.

Although Trump lost the election, his inroads into the Cuban American community in South Florida suggests trouble ahead for the Democratic Party.

1950 by Nora G mez Torres in Miami. MOVED

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^States' mandates on face coverings leave gaps in protection<

CORONAVIRUS-STATES-FACE-COVERINGS:KHN — Brady Bowman, a 19-year-old student at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and two friends strolled down 11th Street, all sporting matching neck gaiters branded with the Thomas' English Muffins logo. He had received an entire box of the promotional gaiters.

He thinks they are just more comfortable to wear than a face mask. "Especially a day like today, where it's cold out," he said, with the top of his gaiter pulled down below his chin.

More stylish? Perhaps. More comfortable? Maybe. But as effective? Not necessarily.

As new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge upward heading into winter, many public health experts wonder whether it's time to move beyond the anything-goes approach toward more standardization and higher-quality masks. President-elect Joe Biden reportedly is mulling a national face-covering mandate of some sort, which could not only increase mask-wearing but better define for Americans what sort of face covering would be most protective.

1350 by Markian Hawryluk in Boulder, Colo. MOVED

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^Philadelphia's Constitution Center is now the answer authority for a nation in government stress<

CONSTITUTION-CENTER:PH — As the nation has careened down the perilous election road to the precipice of presidential transition, stress levels have spiked at each virus-laden point along the way.

Civic and political life have been shaking at strong, magnitude 7 intensity.

Good times for the National Constitution Center.

When norms and laws and rules of behavior as sketched out in the nation's founding documents are questioned and attacked and ignored, there are few places to turn for answers to the most basic questions.

Can he actually do that? What do they think they're doing? There's got to be a law, right?

In that atmosphere — and, indeed, since the last presidential election — the NCC has thrived.

1050 by Stephan Salisbury in Philadelphia. MOVED

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^Singapore's Red Ants are here to remind — and occasionally shame — you about wearing a mask<

CORONAVIRUS-SINGAPORE-REDANTS:LA — Wearing red polo shirts with "SAFE DISTANCING AMBASSADOR" emblazoned on the back, Rugayah Noordin and Fiona Tay made their rounds in an upscale mall. Infractions abounded. A maskless man at his laptop in a coffee shop. Two high school students lingering too long sans masks. A bare-faced woman buying eyeglasses.

One could almost read the ambassadors' minds: What is it with these people?

"Mask up," they ordered.

The offenders hung their heads in shame. The ambassadors walked on, shooting out stern glances and inducing low-grade panic among shoppers, diners and store employees.

Such is the intimidating power of those nicknamed Singapore's Red Ants or Red Army — thousands of vermillion shirt-wearing public servants in sensible shoes tasked with roaming the city-state's air-conditioned shopping centers, sweltering parks and crowded open-air food courts to remind people to cover up, space apart and limit groups to five people or fewer.

1450 by David Pierson in Singapore. MOVED

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