A vice-presidential showdown in Salt Lake City; Louisiana braces for 6th storm; and more

Today is Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris sparred over coronavirus, race, the Supreme Court and more in a mostly civil debate; Louisiana is bracing for its sixth major tropical storm of the year; and more.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


Top stories

Pence, Harris spar over COVID-19 in vice presidential debate

Trading barbs through plexiglass shields, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris turned the only vice presidential debate of 2020 into a dissection of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Harris labeling it “the greatest failure of any presidential administration.”

Pence, who leads the president’s coronavirus task force, acknowledged that “our nation’s gone through a very challenging time this year,” yet vigorously defended the administration’s overall response to a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

The meeting, which was far more civil than last week’s chaotic faceoff between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, unfolded against an outbreak of coronavirus now hitting the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Complete debate coverage, including takeaways, a fact-check and Twitter reaction:

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Busy 2020 hurricane season has Louisiana bracing a 6th time

For the sixth time in the Atlantic hurricane season, people in Louisiana are once more fleeing the state’s barrier islands and sailing boats to safe harbor while emergency officials ramp up command centers and consider ordering evacuations.

The storm being watched Wednesday was Hurricane Delta, the 25th named storm of the Atlantic’s unprecedented hurricane season. Forecasts placed most of Louisiana within Delta’s path, with the latest National Hurricane Center estimating landfall in the state on Friday. Read the full story here:

In other news today …

  • President Donald Trump credited an experimental drug treatment with helping his recovery from COVID-19 and suggested his diagnosis could be a “blessing in disguise” in the nation’s battle against the pandemic.
  • The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to American poet Louise Glück on Thursday “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
  • Police files released Wednesday show contacts between Breonna Taylor and a man she dated previously who was suspected of drug dealing, but raise new questions about what led narcotics investigators to the raid of her home that resulted in her death in a burst of police gunfire.
  • The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd posted bail Wednesday and was released from jail, leading Minnesota’s governor to activate the National Guard to help keep the peace in the event of protests.
  • A 700-year-old Chinese painted scroll from the Yuan Dynasty fetched 306.6 million Hong Kong dollars ($41.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday he “most certainly would” pardon a St. Louis couple if they are convicted of gun charges after waving guns at protesters walking in front of their home this summer.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

Today’s national forecast

Hurricane Delta has restrengthened into a Category 2 hurricane, and the threat for hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge remain. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest. Watch here:

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