Briefs: Thousands of women rally in capital saying Trump presidency ends at a march

With the U.S Capitol in the back ground demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue during the Women's March in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Associated Press

As two week mark nears, both campaigns pick states to try and flip

The Associated Press

Thousands of mostly young women in masks rallied Saturday in the nation's capital and other U.S. cities, exhorting voters to oppose President Donald Trump and his fellow Republican candidates in the Nov. 3 elections.

The latest of rallies that began with a massive women's march the day after Trump's January 2017 inauguration was playing out during the coronavirus pandemic, and demonstrators were asked to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

Rachel O'Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women's March, opened the event by asking people to keep their distance from one another, saying that the only superspreader event would be the recent one at the White House.

She talked about the power of women to end Trump's presidency.

"His presidency began with women marching and now it's going to end with woman voting. Period," she said.

"Vote for your daughter's future," read one message in the sea of signs carried by demonstrators. "Fight like a girl," said another.

Demonstrators rallied in dozens of other cities from New York to San Francisco to signal opposition to Trump and his policies, especially the push to fill the seat of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day. 

A socially distanced march was held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, outside the dormitory where Bader Ginsburg lived as an undergraduate student. 

In New York, a demonstrator wearing a Donald Trump mask stood next to a statue of George Washington at Federal Hall during the the women's march outside the New York Stock Exchange.

"We Dissent," said a cardboard sign carried by a young woman wearing a red mask with small portraits of the liberal Supreme Court justice whose Sept. 18 death sparked the rush by Republicans to replace her with a conservative.

People wearing masks gathered peacefully under sunny skies on the City Hall steps in Portland, Oregon, to sing and listen to speakers. One speaker called for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

In Washington, the demonstrators started with a rally at Freedom Plaza, then marched toward Capitol Hill, finishing in front of the Supreme Court, where they were met by a handful of anti-abortion activists. 

In one of several speeches at the rally, Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at Ultraviolet, said she has to chuckle when she hears reporters ask Trump whether he will accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses his reelection bid.

"When we vote him out, come Nov. 3, there is no choice," said Spoo. "Donald Trump will not get to choose whether he stays in power." 

"That is not his power, that is our power. ... We are the hell and high water," she said. 

This is not the 2016 election script

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump stood before a crowd in a state that had once been firmly in his grasp. There were fewer than three weeks left in the campaign, one reshaped by a virus that has killed more than 215,000 Americans, and he was running out of time to change the trajectory of the race.

He posed a question.

"Did you hear the news?" the president asked the hopeful crowd. "Bruce Ohr is finally out of the Department of Justice."

There were scattered cheers in the crowd as the president then detailed the fate of a mostly forgotten, minor figure in the Russia probe that feels like a lifetime of news cycles ago.

That moment Wednesday in Iowa, a state Trump won comfortably four years ago but is now seen as competitive, underscored a fundamental challenge facing his reelection campaign: It's not 2016. 

Trump, Biden go on offense in states they're trying to flip

CARSON CITY, Nev. — President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense over the weekend, as both campaigned in states they are trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election that is just over two weeks away.

Trump began his Sunday in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before a fundraiser and an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, Nevada has not swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.

The rally drew thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering Trump and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard against the coronavirus, though cases in the state are on the rise, with more than 1,000 new infections reported Saturday. The president, as he often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and at one point appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists.

"He'll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression," Trump said.

Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before campaigning in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since Barack Obama in 2008.

As virus flares globally, new strategies target hot spots

NEW YORK — After entire nations were shut down during the first surge of the coronavirus earlier this year, some countries and U.S. states are trying more targeted measures as cases rise again around the world, especially in Europe and the Americas.

New York's new round of virus shutdowns zeroes in on individual neighborhoods, closing schools and businesses in hot spots measuring just a couple of square miles.

Spanish officials limited travel to and from some parts of Madrid before restrictions were widened throughout the capital and some suburbs.

Italian authorities have sometimes quarantined spots as small as a single building.

While countries including Israel and the Czech Republic have reinstated nationwide closures, other governments hope smaller-scale shutdowns can work this time, in conjunction with testing, contact tracing and other initiatives they've now built up.

Vaccine storage issues could leave 3B people without access

GAMPELA, Burkina Faso — The chain breaks here, in a tiny medical clinic in Burkina Faso that went nearly a year without a working refrigerator. 

From factory to syringe, the world's most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates need non-stop sterile refrigeration to stay potent and safe. But despite enormous strides in equipping developing countries to maintain the vaccine "cold chain," nearly 3 billion of the world's 7.8 billion people live where temperature-controlled storage is insufficient for an immunization campaign to bring COVID-19 under control. 

The result: Poor people around the world who were among the hardest hit by the virus pandemic are also likely to be the last to recover from it. 

The vaccine cold chain hurdle is just the latest disparity of the pandemic weighted against the poor, who more often live and work in crowded conditions that allow the virus to spread, have little access to medical oxygen that is vital to COVID-19 treatment, and whose health systems lack labs, supplies or technicians to carry out large-scale testing.

Maintaining the cold chain for coronavirus vaccines won't be easy even in the richest of countries, especially when it comes to those that require ultracold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 F). Investment in infrastructure and cooling technology lags behind the high-speed leap that vaccine development has taken this year due to the virus.

'Our house is on fire': Suburban women lead a Trump revolt

TROY, Mich. — She walks with the determination of a person who believes the very fate of democracy might depend on the next door she knocks on, head down, shoulders forward. She wears nothing fussy, the battle fatigues of her troupe: yoga pants and sneakers. She left her Lincoln Aviator idling in the driveway, the driver door open -- if this house wasn't the one to save the nation, she can move quickly to the next. 

For most of her life, until 2016, Lori Goldman had been politically apathetic. Had you offered her $1 million, she says, she could not have described the branches of government in any depth. She voted, sometimes.

Now every moment she spends not trying to rid America of President Donald Trump feels like wasted time. 

"We take nothing for granted," she tells her canvassing partner. "They say Joe Biden is ahead. Nope. We work like Biden is behind 20 points in every state."

Goldman spends every day door knocking for Democrats in Oakland County, Michigan, an affluent Detroit suburb. She feels responsible for the country's future: Trump won Michigan in 2016 by 10,700 votes and that helped usher him into the White House. Goldman believes people like her -- suburban white women -- could deliver the country from another four years of chaos.

Thai authorities seek to censor coverage of student protests

BANGKOK — Thailand's embattled prime minister said Monday that there were no plans to extend a state of emergency outside the capital, even as student-led protests calling for him to leave office spread around the country. Police, however, indicated they were working to censor coverage of the demonstrations.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's government has already issued a decree that bans public gatherings of more than four people in Bangkok, outlaws news said to affect national security and gives authorities broad power to detain people. 

None of that has been able to keep the mostly young protesters from gathering en masse across Bangkok the past five days to push their demands, which also include constitutional changes and reform of the monarchy. On Sunday, rallies spread to at least a dozen provinces outside Bangkok.

Prayuth told reporters the state of emergency will remain only in Bangkok for now.

"I want to ask them for a few things: Don't destroy the government and private properties and don't touch the monarchy," Prayuth said of the demonstrators.

China's economy accelerates as virus recovery gains strength

BEIJING  — China's shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is gaining strength as consumers return to shopping malls and auto dealerships while the United States and Europe endure painful contractions.

Growth in the world's second-largest economy accelerated to 4.9% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, up from the previous quarter's 3.2%, official data showed Monday. Retail spending rebounded to above pre-virus levels for the first time and factory output rose, boosted by demand for exports of masks and other medical supplies. 

China is the only major economy that is expected to grow this year while activity in the United States, Europe and Japan shrinks. 

The recovery is "broadening out and becoming less reliant" on government stimulus, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. He said growth is "still accelerating" heading into the present quarter. 

Most Asian stock markets rose on the news of increased activity in China, the biggest trading partner for all of its neighbors. Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 1.1% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.9%. Markets in South Korea and Australia also rose.

Dodgers-Rays rare wild-card era matchup of baseball's best

ARLINGTON, Texas — The World Series matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays is a rare meeting of baseball's best for the title, and a matchup of organizations with Andrew Friedman's imprint.

Friedman was the Rays' director of baseball operations from 2004-05 and then general manager from until he left in October 2014 to become the Dodgers president of baseball operations.

Game 1 is Tuesday night.

Retired first baseman James Loney, a veteran of both organizations, describes the Rays as "feisty."

"We were always fighting. But we always did feel like we were the better team," he said Sunday. "I don't ever feel like we went out there overmatched. We didn't care who was pitching. We didn't care what kind of lineup they had. We were bringing that mentality and I think the Rays team this year has that."

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