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Rams hold Bears’ offense with a TD, intercept Nick Foles twice in 24-10 win

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The Los Angeles Rams intercepted Nick Foles twice and held the offense of the Chicago Bears to just a lone field goal as they cruised to a 24-10 victory on Monday night.

Jalen Ramsey intercepted Foles with just over three minutes left to play to end any hope of a late comeback for the Bears.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson had picked up a Robert Woods fumble and returned it for an 8-yard touchdown to cut the Los Angeles lead to 24-10 with 7:30 left to play. It was the only trip into the end zone on the night for Chicago.

The Bears Offense had four straight drives end essentially in turnovers with two drives being ended inside the Rams’ 10-yard line. Foles was intercepted by safety Taylor Rapp in the end zone to thwart a scoring opportunity midway through the third quarter. Chicago then had two straight drives end in failed fourth down conversions, including a sack of Foles on fourth-and-goal from the Rams’ 4-yard line. Foles was then intercepted by Ramsey as the offense just couldn’t put points on the board.

Jared Goff completed 23 of 33 passes for 219 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett. Malcolm Brown also scored on a 1-yard run for Los Angeles.

Foles completed 28 of 40 passes for 261 yards with the two interceptions for Chicago. Allen Robinson caught four passes for 70 yards but left the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.

Punter Johnny Hekker was one of the stars of the evening for the Rams as all five punts were downed inside the Chicago 10-yard line.

Reynolds’ 4-yard touchdown gave the Rams a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Cairo Santos converted a 42-yard field goal that served as Chicago’s only offensive points of the night. Samuel Solman’s 22-yard field goal pushed the L.A. lead to 10-3 at halftime.

Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run extended the Rams lead to 17-3 in the third quarter. After Rapp’s interception of Foles, the Rams would drive for another score with Everett catching a 12-yard touchdown as Los Angeles grabbed a 24-3 lead.

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Trump admin dismantles ‘firewall’ for editorial independence at U.S.-funded media outlets

A senior U.S. official appointed by President Donald Trump has scrapped a federal regulation designed to protect the editorial independence of Voice of America and other U.S.-funded media outlets, amid accusations he is undermining the journalistic credibility of the broadcasters.

Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media who rescinded the editorial “firewall” regulation late Monday night, said the federal rule was legally flawed, infringed on the president’s right to conduct U.S. foreign policy and was “unworkable.”

Reporters at the U.S.-funded broadcasters have accused Pack of trying to turn the service into a mouthpiece for Trump, and former executives said they expected legal challenges to the decision.

The federal regulation granting editorial independence was introduced in June by an outgoing board of governors that used to oversee the U.S.-funded broadcasters. The board was dissolved once Pack was confirmed by the Senate in a party-line vote as CEO of the U.S. Global Media Agency (USAGM), the parent agency for Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other federally funded broadcasters.

The regulation, titled “Firewall and Highest Standards of Professional Journalism,” had prohibited any interference in the editorial work of the U.S. media outlets. It barred executives or officials outside the newsroom from “attempts to direct, pressure, coerce, threaten, interfere with, or otherwise impermissibly influence any of the USAGM Networks, including their leadership, officers, employees, or staff, in the performance of their journalistic and broadcasting duties and activities.”

In announcing his decision Monday night, Pack argued that the regulation wrongly described the U.S.-funded outlets as equivalent to private news organizations and maintained that VOA and the other broadcasters have a mission to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, unlike private-sector media.

He also said that the regulation was impractical and could prevent him from carrying out his legally mandated duties.

“Not only was this rule based on flawed legal and constitutional reasoning, it made the agency difficult to manage and less able to fulfill its important mission to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy,” Pack said in his statement.

“No agency run by a CEO, or another type of head, has any kind of ‘firewall’ between himself and the rest of his agency,” he said.

Press freedom groups, lawmakers from both parties, former executives at the agency and current and former journalists at the U.S.-funded outlets have blasted Pack’s tenure as CEO, saying he has tarnished the reputation of the broadcasters and hurt America’s image abroad as a champion of a free press.

At a congressional hearing last month, former USAGM officials sharply criticized Pack for placing commentaries on the news outlets’ homepages, firing the head of editorial standards, sacking the chiefs of all the broadcasters, refusing to renew visas for foreign journalists working at the agency, withholding funding for some daily operations and saying the agency would be “a great place to put a spy.”

“Our reputation for telling the truth has been a core element of our strength as a nation. Now, it is in danger, putting at risk not only our national values, but also our national security,” Ryan Crocker, a retired senior diplomat who served on the former board of governors for the U.S.-funded broadcasters, told lawmakers at a September congressional hearing.

Republican lawmakers have expressed frustration in particular over Pack’s decision to block about $20 million in funding for a non-profit that provides anti-censorship technology to people in repressive societies, including Belarus, China and Iran. They said the move had cut off democracy activists in Hong Kong and elsewhere in their hour of need.

The U.S. Global Media Agency, with of budget of about $800 million, oversees broadcasters that reach an estimated 350 million people a week in 62 languages.

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Pennsylvania teen fatally shot while sitting with girlfriend by lake for sunset

A Pennsylvania teen was fatally shot while he and his girlfriend watched a sunset by a lake in a state park where hunting is permitted.

An investigation is underway to determine if the shooting was related to a man seen in hunting gear, the district attorney said Monday. The hunter was reported to have walked away, according to the DA.

Jason Kutt, a 2020 high school graduate, was shot about 5:15 p.m. Saturday by a lake at Nockamixon State Park and pronounced dead Monday, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.

His girlfriend heard a shot before he fell backward, and she reported seeing a man in an orange vest and hunting-type clothes by a gate around 550 feet away looking in their direction, Weintraub said, but it is not clear he was involved.

“We want to get to the bottom of this,” Weintraub said at a news conference Monday in which he pleaded with the public for any information.

“We don’t have any suspects,” he said. “We don’t even know if a crime has been committed yet. But we need to understand how Jason Kutt died.”

Hunting is allowed in the park and was permitted the day Kutt was shot, Weintraub said.

The teen suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of his neck, he said, and an autopsy is planned.

Kutt’s family decided to donate the teen’s organs, something the district attorney hailed as a courageous decision.

It is deer season in Pennsylvania, as well as for small game, Weintraub said. Saturday was the final day for muzzeloader hunting of deer, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The state department of conservation and natural resources warns hunters to use extreme caution at all times, because other people use state parks during hunting season.

Weintraub stressed that the shooting may have been an accident, and investigators are not pre-judging anything in the case and are hopeful that the public provides information.

“They were just a young couple with their whole lives ahead of them trying to enjoy a peaceful sunset,” Weintraub said.

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Zeta upgraded to hurricane as weary Gulf Coast residents await landfall

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Zeta, the storm that formed in the Caribbean over the weekend, gained strength Monday afternoon to become a hurricane, which forecasters warn is likely to make landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast, where storm-beleaguered residents are fearful of yet another round of destruction.

Zeta, the 27th named storm of the 2020 season, had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph as it intensified into a Category 1 hurricane centered about 90 miles southeast of Cozumel island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said.

It is expected to break a record by becoming the 11th named storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season, with southeastern Louisiana potentially getting slammed around Wednesday afternoon, according to forecasters. Heavy rains, however, will already be felt in the central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, spreading across eastern Mississippi and Alabama.

Zeta could revert to a tropical storm by the time it makes landfall in the U.S., said Joe Rua, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles.

“It’s going to be a close call with remaining a Category 1,” he said.

A hurricane watch was in effect Monday evening from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain and metropolitan New Orleans. New Orleans officials also called for a voluntary evacuation Monday of some vulnerable districts as sandbags were being assembled.

No matter the storm’s strength, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, Louisiana, which is still recovering from hurricanes Laura and Delta, wouldn’t take Zeta for granted. He issued a state of emergency Monday and prepared 1,150 members of the Louisiana National Guard to be activated.

“Good thing and the bad thing is we’ve had a lot of practice this year,” Edwards told reporters.

Laura made landfall 1n Louisiana near the Texas border on Aug. 27 as a powerful Category 4 storm, with wind speeds of 150 mph and life-threatening storm surges. Six weeks later, Delta, a Category 2 storm, raked southwestern Louisiana again, marking the sixth time this season that Louisianans had to prepare for a hurricane. Hundreds of thousands of households across Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi were left without power.

Lake Charles, the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country, felt a double whammy of devastation from Laura and Delta. As residents were picking up the pieces from Laura, Delta dealt another blow.

While forecasters say Lake Charles and the rest of southwestern Louisiana are expected to dodge this latest storm, some residents rebuilding from the pair of hurricanes remain wary.

“Oh, Lord, we’ve been watching every day since I heard about it,” said Hazel Logan, 44, who was getting free meals Monday from the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s hurricane relief center in Lake Charles.

“It’s saying it’s going more eastward, but they said that with the other storm,” Logan said, adding: “I’m just taking it day by day. I can’t lie and say I’m not concerned.”

Hazel Logan regularly visits the United Way resource distribution center for Hurricane Laura victims in Lake Charles, La., to help feed her family, which is now living in her home.Bryan Tarnowski / for NBC News

The roof of Logan’s home on the outskirts of Lake Charles was damaged this hurricane season, but that didn’t stop her from taking in other family members who had fared worse. The seafood business she operates was also battered — and that was on top of the financial hit she took as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, she’s waiting on her insurance to help her rebuild.

“We have been neglected,” she said.

Across Louisiana, tens of thousands of residences and other structures were partly ruined or destroyed by Laura, which primarily caused wind damage, and Delta, which brought intense flooding, said Ashley Rodrigue, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office. The agency’s surveying is used to help communities obtain federal emergency funding,

About 95 percent of the 35,000 structures in Lake Charles were damaged, while about 6,000 of its 78,000 residents haven’t returned since Delta, officials said. Many went to evacuation shelters and remain in hotels in surrounding cities with the assistance of state vouchers.

Blue tarps cover once-vibrant homes in Lake Charles’ residential neighborhoods, and 10-foot piles of tree limbs and debris sit untouched as reminders of one of the worst hurricane seasons to strike Louisiana since 2005, when Katrina and Rita led to economic devastation and hundreds of deaths.

The United Way of Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Relief Center in Lake Charles serves thousands of people a day two months after Hurricane Laura devastated the area.Bryan Tarnowski / for NBC News

Since early September, the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s relief center in Lake Charles has been operating a drive-thru service to pick up food, water, cleaning supplies and baby products donated from around the world.

The nonprofit has been serving upward of 2,000 meals a day, President and CEO Denise Durel said. While evacuation orders temporarily halted its operations, Durel said, it is ready for whatever Zeta may bring — and whatever the people of the region may need.

“I don’t wish Zeta on anyone, on any community,” Durel said, “but we’re definitely just praying every day it spares us.

“I can’t even imagine what the longevity of the damage will be if we get hit again,” she said.

Daniella Silva reported from Lake Charles and Erik Ortiz from New York.

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Virginia Military Institute superintendent resigns amid call for racism investigation

LEXINGTON, Va. — The superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute resigned Monday, a week after state officials ordered an investigation into what they characterized as a culture of “ongoing structural racism” at the college.

The Board of Visitors accepted 80-year-old retired Army Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III’s resignation “with deep regret,” board President John William Boland said in a statement.

“General Peay has served VMI as superintendent exceptionally well for more than 17 years. General Peay is a great American, patriot and hero. He has profoundly changed our school for the better in all respects,” the statement said.

VMI, founded in 1839, was the first state-supported military college in the nation. Officials at the school have said they will cooperate with an investigation but denied the allegation that the institution has systemic racial problems.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a VMI graduate, and other top Democratic elected officials sent a letter to the public school’s board a week ago announcing an investigation into its culture, policies, practices and equity in disciplinary procedures. That decision came on the heels of a Washington Post story that described Black cadets and alumni facing “relentless racism.”

The Post story described incidents such as lynching threats and a white professor reminiscing in class about her father’s Ku Klux Klan membership. It cited interviews with “more than a dozen” current and former students of color.

The Roanoke Times also reported months ago on Black alumni speaking out about racism at the school.

Boland responded to the officials last week, saying that the school welcomed a review.

“However, systemic racism does not exist here and a fair and independent review will find that to be true,” Boland wrote in the letter.

Boland’s statement Monday said the board would “immediately” turn its attention to the search for a new superintendent. Brig. Gen. Robert Moreschi, formerly the deputy superintendent for academics and dean of the faculty, will serve as the interim superintendent.

A school spokesman said Peay was not granting interview requests.

His resignation letter, which was posted online, said Northam’s chief of staff “conveyed” on Friday that Northam and certain legislative leaders had lost confidence in his leadership and wanted his resignation.

“Change is overdue at VMI, and the Board of Visitors bears a deep responsibility to embrace it,” Northam’s spokeswoman, Alena Yarmosky, said in a statement. “Diversity is a fundamental commitment.”

Yarmosky said Northam “wishes General Peay well and is grateful for his decades of public service.”

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First ‘murder hornet’ nest in U.S. destroyed, Washington state officials say

The first “murder hornet” nest discovered in the United States has been successfully destroyed, Washington state agriculture officials said Monday.

The ongoing fight to prevent the invasive Asian giant hornet, which can devastate honeybee colonies, from gaining a foothold is far from over and residents are being asked to report any sightings.

Entomologists were able to attach radio trackers to three hornets that had been caught in a trap last week, and one of those led them to the nest, which was discovered Thursday and destroyed over the weekend.

While most Asian giant hornet nests are in the ground, this one was in a tree. A list of new equipment was quickly drawn up after the discovery because time was of the essence: This is the time of year when any new queens could emerge from a nest.

“We wanted to make sure that we took the nest out as quickly as we possibly could to avoid any queens escaping,” Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, said in a video news conference Monday.

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree on Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine.Elaine Thompson / AP

On Saturday, workers clad in protective suits — the hornets can sting repeatedly and spit venom — used foam to seal crevices, wrapped the tree in cellophane and then used a vacuum hose to suck out the hornets.

Carbon dioxide gas was pumped in to kill what remained. The tree will be removed and sectioned so the nest can be studied further. “At this point, we believe everything in the nest to be dead,” Spichiger said.

The nest in Blaine, which is in Whatcom County on the U.S.-Canada border, marked the first time a nest of the hornet has been found in the U.S.

The Asian giant hornet was first detected in Washington state in December, and the first insect was trapped in July.

They are native to Asia and have been documented in parts of China and India, and in Thailand, Malaysia and other countries, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On Dec. 8 a dead insect was found in Blaine.

A group of the world’s largest hornets can kill an entire colony of honeybees in hours, the state agriculture department says. The insects typically don’t attack people or pets, but will do so when threatened, according to experts.

Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney displays a dead Asian giant hornet in Blaine, Wash., on May 7, 2020.Elaine Thompson / AP file

The cold weather during Saturday morning’s eradication aided entomologists, Spichiger said.

That kept the nest docile and they were not attacked by any hornets — something in contrast to eradications in other parts of the world where workers are surrounded by flying insects, he said.

“No one was stung, and no one was even attacked that we’re aware of,” he said.

Ninety-eight worker hornets were captured, most through the vacuum but 13 in a net on Friday, officials said.

Specimens will be used in research, including some live hornets that will be studied by the USDA to try and find out what attracts them and what chemicals they react to, which is a first-of-its kind opportunity in the U.S., Spichiger said. Others will be flash frozen and sent to other researchers and universities.

Honeybee populations have been in a worrying decline. The number of honeybee hives in the U.S. has dropped from 6 million in the 1940s to around 2.5 million, the USDA said last year.

The giant hornet eradiction effort could take years, but out of thousands of traps across Washington so far there have been hits only in Whatcom County, Spichiger said.

Officials believe there are at least three other nests in the County.

“Even though we’re just fighting this fight right here in Washington right now, it is literally for the rest of the country,” he said.

Habitat models show the Asian giant hornet is “completely well suited” to live not just in the Pacific Northwest, but also anywhere east of the Mississippi River, he said.

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In setback for Democrats, Supreme Court won’t let late mail ballots count in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin cannot count mail ballots that arrive well after the polls close, under an order issued Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court, a defeat for Democrats in a battleground state.

By a vote of 5-3, the justices declined to lift a lower court ruling preventing the state from counting mail ballots that arrive as much as six days after election day. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said they would have granted the request.

Voting rights groups, the state and national Democratic parties, and the League of women Voters filed lawsuits seeking to extend the deadline for accepting mail-in ballots. They said the flood of absentee ballots and problems arising from the pandemic make it harder for voters to receive their mail ballots and return them on time. Wisconsin has been especially hard hit by COVID-19, with hospitals nearly filled to capacity.

U.S. District Court Judge William Conley agreed and ordered the state to accept ballots that arrive up to six days after election day, provided they are postmarked before the polls close. But the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the order.

“A last-minute event may require a last-minute reaction. But it is not possible to describe COVID-19 as a last-minute event,” the court said.

Courts are typically reluctant to change the rules as election day gets closer, but in asking the Supreme Court to lift the appeals court stay the Wisconsin groups said there’s no risk of voter confusion in granting their request. “The ballots of a substantial number of voters who will follow all of Wisconsin’s rules will arrive after the current receipt deadline because of conditions caused by the pandemic,” they argued.

Without relief from the Supreme Court, the groups said, “mass disenfranchisement of Wisconsin voters would ensue.” Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, sided with the challengers.

But Republicans urged the court to stick with the state’s existing deadline. “Wisconsin law gives voters who may experience some mailing delays multiple avenues to cast their ballots — including two weeks of in-person absentee voting — more avenues than are available in most other states,” they said in court filings.

President Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by less than one percentage point, a lead of less than 23,000 votes. Three of the past five presidential election results in the state were squeakers.

The Supreme Court reached a different result last week in allowing mail ballots to be counted in Pennsylvania that arrive by the Friday following the election. By a 4-4 vote, the justices left a state court ruling in place that extended the ballot deadline. They did not explain their reasoning.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in a brief explanation of his vote in the Wisconsin matter, said the cases came to the Supreme Court in different postures. In Pennsylvania, state election officials were already planning to extend the deadline under the order of its highest state court, while in Wisconsin election administrators had no such plans, because a federal appeals court blocked a similar request.

“This case involves federal intrusions on state lawmaking processes,” he said, while the Pennsylvania case “implicated the authority of state courts to apply their own constitutions.”

Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch said Wisconsin has made several changes to adapt to the pandemic, sending ballot applications to all registered voters, allowing extended time to vote, and providing for drop boxes as an alternative to the mail.

“Elections must end sometime, a single deadline provides clear notices, and requiring ballots to be in by election day puts all voters on the same footing,” they said.

But Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the three dissenters, said extending the deadline “would prevent the state from throwing away the votes of people actively participating” in the democratic process. “Protecting the right to vote in a health crisis outweighs conforming to a deadline in safer days.”

The court is still considering a similar deadline extension in North Carolina, and Pennsylvania Republicans are making another run at rolling back the deadline in that state.

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Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett, heralding new conservative era for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led Senate voted narrowly on Monday to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, ending an acrimonious confirmation process and handing President Donald Trump a political victory days before the election.

The 48-year-old appeals court judge will fill the seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon who died Sept. 18, and is expected to propel a sharp ideological turn on the court. Democrats made numerous unsuccessful attempts to slow down or derail the vote but ran headlong into a GOP determined to cement a 6-3 majority.

Some legal experts say it will be the most conservative Supreme Court since before World War II. The addition of Barrett could solidify the right’s advantages on issues like campaign finance and gun rights while threatening progressive issues like abortion rights, voting rights and health care regulations.

The vote was 52-48, with only Republicans voting “yes” and Democrats unifying in opposition. Just one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who faces a tough re-election race, voted “no.”

After the presiding officer, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called the vote, a round of applause broke out in the chamber as Republican senators bumped fists to celebrate.

Barrett, who was confirmed 30 days after Trump announced her nomination, is the first nominee in the modern era to be sent to the Supreme Court on a partisan vote.

Her nomination has drawn enthusiasm from Republicans, who have made the courts their priority in the Senate, and anger from Democrats, who warned not to fill a vacancy in an election year, particularly after GOP leaders refused to do so under a Democratic president in 2016.

The White House is planning to hold a swearing-in ceremony on Monday, where Barrett’s official constitutional oath will be administered by Justice Clarence Thomas, the most conservative member of the court, a senior White House official said.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the judicial oath in a private ceremony on Tuesday, officially making Barrett a justice.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, reversed course over the weekend and said she’d vote in favor of confirming Barrett even though she opposed the process of filling the vacancy near an election.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who voted for Trump’s two other Supreme Court nominees, lamented the “degradation of Senate norms and procedures” in an op-ed explaining his opposition to the Barrett confirmation and its “unprecedented” nature.

Barrett could quickly begin to play a pivotal role on the court. She cannot vote on cases that have already been heard, but after being sat she could help decide applications from states for the court to settle disputes about voting methods.

The court has already decided on applications in several election-related disputes, largely siding with Republicans on issues like curbside voting in Alabama and witness requirements in South Carolina.

With a week until the election, her confirmation is a victory for Trump and the Senate Republicans, who are campaigning on having delivered a more conservative judiciary.

“This is one of the brilliant, admired and well-qualified nominees in our lifetime,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said before the vote, adding that Barrett will be the only justice confirmed with a law degree from “any school not named Harvard or Yale.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that “the Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire.”

“You will never, ever, get your credibility back,” Schumer said before the vote. “And the next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited your right to tell us how to run that majority… You walk a perilous road. I know you think this will eventually blow over. But you’re wrong. The American people will never forget this blatant act of bad faith.”

Democrats haven’t decided how to respond if they win the White House and Congress, as presidential nominee Joe Biden reiterated Monday he has “made no judgement” on that and will set up a bipartisan commission of experts to propose ways to depoliticize the courts.

Vice President Mike Pence canceled plans to preside over the vote after five people in his office tested positive for Covid-19.

Democrats have warned that Barrett’s confirmation could lead to the end of the Affordable Care Act, with the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Nov. 10 in a case challenging the health care law.

They also argue that that she would vote in favor of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal.

Hallie Jackson and Kristen Welker contributed.

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Seattle family, friends plead for safe return of Marisela Botello who disappeared while in Dallas, Texas three weeks ago

In early October, Marisela Botello took a Lyft alone to a popular entertainment district in Dallas, Texas. It was the last time anyone saw her.

Marisela Botello

Marisela’s family told Dateline that the 23-year-old left her home in Seattle, Washington on October 2, and traveled to Dallas to visit her ex-boyfriend for the weekend.

“She was scheduled to fly back to Seattle that Monday,” said Marisela’s aunt, Dennesly Castillo. “But she never made the flight. And she hasn’t returned home.”

Marisela was last seen on the last night of her trip – Sunday, October 4. Dennesly told Dateline that her niece wanted to go out for her last night, but her ex-boyfriend wanted to stay home. So Marisela took a Lyft alone to Deep Ellum, a popular nightlife area in Dallas.

When Marisela didn’t return to her ex-boyfriend’s house that night, Dennesly said he became worried and called her parents. Her belongings, except for her cell phone and debit card, were still there. When she missed her flight home to Seattle, the family knew something was wrong.

“She’s an avid traveler and she’s always in contact with someone,” Dennesly said of her niece, who lives with her parents in Seattle. “She wouldn’t just miss a flight or cut all communication like this.”

Dennesly and Marisela’s father traveled to Dallas where they filed a missing person’s report with the Dallas Police Department and started searching.

Marisela Botello on the last night she was seen in Dallas, Texas.

Dennesly said they were able to access Marisela’s email, along with her social media and bank accounts. They discovered a Lyft receipt showing she was dropped off on Elm Street in the Deep Ellum area just after midnight on Monday, Oct. 5.

Dennesly said they obtained security video from outside the Select Start bar which shows who they believe to be Marisela leaving the bar with an unknown man. The time stamp was 1:15 a.m., she added.

“I was also able to get into her Snap Chat account and see her camera roll,” Dennesly told Dateline. “There’s a picture of her in a purple dress from that night– the same dress in the surveillance video.”

She said the family believes the man in the video is the key to finding Marisela.

Marisela Botello

Dallas Police have not verified the tape and Detective Ryan Dalby would not release further details about Marisela’s disappearance, but did tell Dateline “detectives are currently investigating all workable leads and communicating with Ms. Botello’s family.”

Dennesly told Dateline that according to her niece’s T-Mobile account, her cell phone was last used around 4 a.m. on October 5. It hasn’t been used since.

“That to me is a huge red flag,” Dennesly said. “She’s 23 and hasn’t used her phone for social media or texts or anything in three weeks? It makes no sense. We’re just really worried that something happened to her.”

Detective Dalby told Dateline that the public is urged to call police if they have any information about Marisela’s whereabouts.

Marisela is 5’2” tall, weighs 115 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a metallic purple dress.

If you have any information, please contact the Dallas Police Department’s missing person’s unit at (214) 671-4268 or email Marisela’s case number is #177834-2020.

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Latest products from Amazon, Fenty, Allbirds and more

The fall season has been a busy one for Apple. It launched four hotly-anticipated new releases within the last six weeks, including the Apple Watch, eighth-generation iPad, iPhone 12 and, on Friday, the iPad Air (sporting Wi-Fi 6-capability). While Apple enthusiasts may have turned their gaze towards the tech giant’s latest offering, it’s not the only release our editorial team had their eyes on ahead of Black Friday — which is only 32 days away.

While you’re here, you can Plan Your Vote and check into our 2020 election liveblog.

While we’re primping and prepping for the annual shopping day, we wanted to spotlight eight standout new releases that are worth knowing right now. From Amazon’s latest high-fashion offering from one of Beyonce’s go-to designers to a practical-meets-chic wood laptop stand to help elevate your work from home life. We also touch on a classic American designer’s exclusive beauty line debuting at Walmart, outwear that marries functionality with style and more launches worth keeping on your radar.

1. Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recover Gel-Cream

Rihanna, founder of Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty, has launched her latest offering: the Instant Reset overnight Recovery Gel-Cream. The night moisturizer is made with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, kalahari melon oil and baobab, while niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps even skin tone. There’s also aloe, green tea and cactus flower to help calm skin while Japanese raisin tree detoxifies and Australian lemon myrtle helps balance oil production. Like the other products from Fenty Skin, the new drop is 100-percent cruelty-free, recyclable and unisex. Instead of buying a new jar of overnight cream, shoppers can order a gel-cream refill to replace their empty containers.

2. New Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Announced in late September and finally shipping, the all-new Echo Dot features a spherical, compact and modern design. It’s essentially a smaller version of the larger all-new Echo and is a great option if you’re looking for access to Alexa and don’t require the larger components, such as a woofer, additional speaker and Dolby audio capabilities. While it doesn’t include built-in Zigbee, you can still control your smart home via Alexa with it. Additionally, you can connect it to other Echo devices around the house to make announcements. Plus, it comes in Charcoal and Glacier White. And if you’re shopping for a young one, Amazon created an all-new Echo Dot Kids Edition featuring parental controls and a Tiger design.

3. Allbirds now makes apparel

Allbirds, an eco-friendly shoe purveyor with funding from the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio, has officially made the foray into ready-to-wear apparel. The San Francisco-based brand launched apparel for men and women, ranging from sizes XS to XXXL with four new pieces. The TrinoXO Tee is made from discarded crab shells and is available in six colors, including three limited-edition shades: Forest, Orchid and Sungold. To help you stay cozy and look stylish while apple-picking or lounging at home this fall, Allbirds also released a cardigan and sweater made from New Zealand merino wool, along with a puffer jacket. The sustainable brand claims these four new launches are carbon neutral.

4. Betsey Johnson makeup launches at Walmart

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson is known for her colorful and whimsical designs and recently launched Luv Betsey, a makeup line exclusively at Walmart. The beauty collection features 10 pieces, ranging from three palettes — eye shadow, highlighter and glitter gels — to lipglosses and a four-piece kit of makeup brushes. There’s also a fragrance with notes of citrus, berries and passionfruit, along with a mascara and eyeliner duo. Each item from the Luv Betsey line costs less than $10 and is available online now and launches in stores Nov. 1. Johnson is also debuting a collaboration with Torrid, a plus-size fashion retailer, to revive archived pieces from her 1988 and 1989 ready-to-wear shows, as well as creating an exclusive holiday collection.

5. Elyptol Natural cleaning wipes

Elyptol Natural launched at Target with its hero product: the cleaning wipes. Each case contains 150 nonwoven cloth wipes to tidy up grime found on commonly used hard surfaces — refrigerators, stoves, counters, desks, bathtubs and toilets. Elyptol claims these eucalyptus essential oil-infused wipes won’t leave behind pesky residue on hands nor streaks on freshly cleaned hard surfaces. The wipes have earned Target’s “Clean” badge, meaning they’re made with virtually no parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, BHA, BHT and other potentially harmful ingredients.

6. Ten Thousand Midweight Tech Hoodie

The direct-to-consumer men’s brand is keeping up with the changing season, adapting its athlete-tested apparel to the colder temperatures. The brand’s new breathable hoodie is front and center of the endeavor, designed for anyone living in a climate that’s transitioning into deep winter day by day: Its moisture-wicking and 4-way stretch fabric is treated to be stain-resistant and equips silver to help neutralize odors. You can get the hoodie, which is made with a blend of polyester, cotton and spandex, in either Black, Iron or Light Grey. You can also choose between a Pullover construction or the Full Zip. Atop the traditional hoodie front pouch, you get zippered pockets to ensure your valuables stay on you.

7. Peter Dundas Disposable Masks (50-piece)

The high-fashion (and high-priced) offerings of Peter Dundas, who has dressed everyone from Beyoncé to Natasha Poly, are now live on Amazon. The brand’s new storefront is dubbed Dundas World with focused sections like Disposable Masks, Activewear, Loungewear and more. If you’re in search of a new high-style outfit and have the (sometimes extraordinary) budget for it, you’ll find plenty of options here, from a breathable, polyester-and-spandex blend All-in-One Body Suit to the stretchy Dundas Biker Short. The disposable face masks are one-size-fits-all, one-time use, three-layered and include a nose bridge for comfort and fit. The spunbond fabric on the inner lining is designed to be soft against your skin.

8. Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser

The Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser is stylish and functional. It’s made from American black walnut wood and brushed aluminum for a clean and modern design, as well as German Merino wool felt to protect and cushion your laptop. At 10-inches wide, it’s compact to fit into tight spaces on your desk. Plus, it can hold up to 20 pounds and it features a simple cord management system so you can keep your power cords off the floor.

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