AP Top News at 1:04 a.m. EDT

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Updated 1 hour and 46 minutes ago

Pandemic policy: Biden avoids “false promises” of a quick solution

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) – Joe Biden, focused on COVID-19, vowed Wednesday not to run for election “because of false promises to end this pandemic at the flick of a switch.” Under attack for tackling the worst health crisis in more than a century, President Donald Trump made a rush to “beat the virus” last week. The Democratic presidential candidate also argued that a Conservative Supreme Court majority, stretched 6-3 by newly confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett, could dismantle the Obama administration’s health bill and leave millions uninsured during the pandemic.

At least 1 dead when Hurricane Zeta pounds the Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Hurricane Zeta struck the storm-weary Gulf Coast on Wednesday, knocking down the New Orleans subway area in rain and howling winds, tearing apart buildings and powering thousands of people before quickly Through Mississippi and Alabama came strong gusty winds, heavy rains and dangerous storm surges. Zeta weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 128 km / h as it moved into southern Mississippi a few hours after landing. However, forecasters said it remained a life-threatening storm. The storm was about 72 kilometers northeast of Hattiesburg early Wednesday. On Tuesday, a gust of 146 mph (146 km / h) was blowing through Mobile, Alabama, and a NOAA ad reported a storm surge of 10 feet in Waveland, Mississippi.

Letters, texts, caravans, parades: advocates mobilize voters

Sometimes her hand hurt, but Nancy Gehman kept writing. From July to mid-October, the 85-year-old retiree sat with a gel pen every evening, writing notes asking other Americans to find a way to vote. Then she sent them: All 1,260 letters. “It was comforting to know that I was doing something productive,” she says. Gehman, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is one of 182,000 people who participated in Vote Forward, a 50-state mailing campaign to more than 17.5 million households. The grassroots effort is one of the myriad ways that individuals and organizations are working to get people to elections when nothing is normal.

India’s coronavirus cases top 8 million behind the US

NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s confirmed coronavirus case numbers topped 8 million on Thursday, with daily infections plummeting to their lowest levels this week as concerns over a major Hindu festival season and winter set in. India’s trajectory is moving towards the hardest hit country, the United States, which has over 8.8 million cases. The Department of Health reported an additional 49,881 infections and 517 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 120,527. Life in India is returning to pre-virus levels with the reopening of shops, businesses, subways and cinemas and the third largest state of Bihar with around 122 million people holding elections.

Europe and the US face a new round of shutdowns amid the virus deluge

A new wave of lockdowns and shop closings hit France, Germany and other locations in Europe on Wednesday as rising coronavirus infections there and in the US erased months of struggle against the Scourge on two continents. The resurgence, and the resulting crackdown, shuddered Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 3.5%, its biggest drop since June, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 943 points, or 3.4%. French President Emmanuel Macron declared a new nationwide lockdown on Friday, saying the country had “been overwhelmed by a second wave”. Many doctors had requested the move as 58% of the country’s intensive care units are now occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Road trip: Love in Mississippi during the coronavirus era

JACKSON, miss. (AP) – Her voice cracked as she spoke from her hospital bed. “I want to go home,” she pleaded. More than 60 kilometers away, her husband sat in her living room and looked intently into his phone while they talked on a video call and tried to calm her down. Bonnie Bishop had been in the hospital since early July. She had been on a ventilator. She had to have an operation to put a tube down her throat. She had been in a coma for six weeks. Sometimes it was just too much and that October evening she began to cry silently. “You’re coming home,” said Mike Bishop, 63, firmly.

Trump paints an apocalyptic portrait of life in the USA under Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) – The suburbs would no longer be the suburbs, the economy would sink into the worst depression ever and the police would cease to exist. Even the older adults of America would have to figure out how to get by without heat, air conditioning, or electricity. This is the apocalyptic version of American life that President Donald Trump claims would be the dire consequence of handing the White House over to Democrat Joe Biden. “He will bury you in regulations, dismantle your police forces, dissolve our borders, confiscate your weapons, end religious freedom, destroy your suburbs,” Trump said in one of the many exaggerated statements made about Biden in the last weeks of the campaign.

Philadelphia promises a better response after the black man’s death

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia police have pledged to release 911 tapes and footage of police bodies “in the near future” when a black man with a history of mental health problems was shot, resulting in protests, widespread vandalism and a night of curfew Days before election day. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw promised to release the video evidence as soon as the department shares it with Walter Wallace Jr.’s family. Outlaw, who came to Philadelphia from Portland, Oregon, less than a year ago, complained at a news conference Wednesday that her department lacks a psychiatric department or a consistent way of coordinating police calls with specialists.

The FBI warns of a ransomware attack threatening the US healthcare system

BOSTON (AP) – Federal agencies warned cybercriminals are unleashing a wave of blackmail attempts against the U.S. healthcare system designed to block hospital information systems that could affect patient care, as well as increasing cases of COVID-19 across the country. In a joint warning on Wednesday, the FBI and two federal agencies warned that they had “credible information about an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers.” The warning states that malicious groups are targeting the sector with attacks that are “causing data theft and disruption of health services”. The cyber attacks are ransomware that turns data into gibberish that can only be unlocked with software keys that are provided once the targets have paid off.

Australia’s pandemic travel ban brings family heartache

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Astrid Magenau was unable to keep her promise to hold her father’s hand on his deathbed in Germany as Australia feels like a prisoner in her adoptive country due to its extraordinary pandemic restrictions. Australia has tried to prevent new coronavirus cases from reaching the coast by banning most residents from even leaving the country. However, the international travel ban puts a heartbreaking burden on a multicultural nation like Australia, where roughly half of the people were born overseas or have a parent with a migrant background. “I always wanted to move to Australia because it felt like a free country,” said Magenau, who was born in Germany and became an Australian citizen this year.

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