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A 200-pound tortoise named Sparkplug that escaped from a pen in Alabama is back home after a few days on the lam

ByThe Associated Press

October 27, 2020, 11:32 AM
• 2 min read

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SARDIS CITY, Ala. — A 200-pound tortoise named Sparkplug that escaped from a pen in Alabama is back home after a journey across two counties and at least one soybean field.
Sparkplug, a 60-year-old African spurred tortoise that lived in an enclosure in Etowah County, pushed its way out of the fenced pen on Thursday. A motorist who spotted the animal on the side of the road took it to his 200-acre (81-hectare) spread in Marshall County, owner Ty Harris told The Gadsden Times in a story Monday.

Harris found out what had happened after using social media to spread the word about Sparkplug, but there was still the matter of finding the tortoise on the land where he’d been released.
A big, roaming tortoise leaves tracks, and area farmers were able to see where Sparkplug had plowed through soybean fields. The man who initially released Sparkplug into the wild found the tortoise and returned it to Harris on Saturday.
“He just had a couple of days out on the town,” said Harris.
Harris used to operate a wildlife sanctuary in the area and got Sparkplug from a family in New Jersey that couldn’t keep the animal.

A Red Flag Warning stretches from southern Oregon down to western Arizona.

October 27, 2020, 10:51 AM
• 3 min read

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Gusty winds will continue through Tuesday in California as Red Flag Warnings and High Wind Warnings have been posted.
On Monday, winds gusted up to 96 mph in the Los Angeles County mountains and there were rapidly spreading brush fires in the area.

A Red Flag Warning stretches from southern Oregon down to western Arizona on Tuesday with high wind alerts for California, Nevada and Arizona.
It looks like the immediate San Francisco Bay area will see lighter winds but the mountains and valleys outside of the immediate city will see gusty winds and very dry conditions.

It looks like the immediate San Francisco Bay area will see lighter winds but the mountains and valleys outside of the immediate city will see gusty winds and very dry conditions.

It looks like the immediate San Francisco Bay area will see lighter winds but the mountains and valleys outside of the immediate city will see gusty winds and very dry conditions.

Southern California will not see as extreme winds as they saw on Monday, but, with such dry conditions, any wind could help spread wildfires.
Some of the gusts today could reach 40 to 60 mph in the mountains and even 40 to 50 mph in the some coastal areas.

Some of the gusts today could reach 40 to 60 mph in the mountains and even 40 to 50 mph in the some coastal areas.

Some of the gusts today could reach 40 to 60 mph in the mountains and even 40 to 50 mph in the some coastal areas.

An ice storm warning continues for northern Texas and into central Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City.
About a quarter to a half of an inch of pure ice accumulated around Oklahoma City bringing down power lines and taking out power to more than 100,000 people.

In Noman, Oklahoma, up to one inch of sleet accumulated producing accidents on the roads and stalling traffic.
A Winter Storm Warning is now in place from the Texas panhandle into most of New Mexico where some areas got up to 20 inches of snow.
The storm is now over but more ice and snow is forecast today with, locally, another quarter of an inch of ice possible from Abilene, Texas to Oklahoma City with more power outages are expected in the area.
Additionally, from western Texas and into New Mexico more snow is on the way with some areas getting an additional one foot of snow.

Additionally, from western Texas and into New Mexico more snow is on the way with some areas getting an additional one foot of snow.

Additionally, from western Texas and into New Mexico more snow is on the way with some areas getting an additional one foot of snow.

Bosnian prosecutors say two people have been detained for taking part in the killing of at least 78 civilians during the 1992-95 war

ByThe Associated Press

October 27, 2020, 10:51 AM
• 1 min read

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Authorities in Bosnia have detained two people suspected of taking part in the killing of at least 78 civilians during the 1992-95 war, the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.
The two men were apprehended in the area of Banja Luka, the main town in the Bosnian Serb-run part of the country, according to a statement.

They are suspected of crimes against humanity over June 1992 killings in the northwestern village of Velagici. Bosnian Serbs slaughtered imprisoned Bosniak civilians, who are mainly Muslims, outside the school building with automatic weapons.
The victims’ bodies were later driven away in trucks and dumped in a mass grave that was exhumed in 1996.
More than 100,000 people died during the war in Bosnia, which erupted when Bosnian Serbs rebelled over the country’s independence from the former Yugoslavia and moved to carve up a mini-state of their own, expelling Bosniaks and Croats from the territory.

LOS ANGELES — California prepared for another round of dangerous fire weather Tuesday even as crews fought a pair of fast-moving blazes in the south that critically injured two firefighters and left more than 100,000 under evacuation orders.Some of the fiercest winds of the fire season drove fires up and down the state Sunday night and Monday before easing but they were expected to resume overnight and continue into Tuesday morning, although not to the earlier extremes, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasts called for Santa Ana winds up to 50 to 80 mph (80.4 to 128.7 kph) at times over much of Southern California, with some of the strongest gusts howling through Orange County, where two blazes sped through brushy hills near major urban centers.
A fire that broke out around dawn Monday prompted evacuation orders for thousands of homes in the area of Irvine, while a few miles away another blaze did the same in the Yorba Linda area. More than 100,000 people were told to flee the fast-moving flames.
One home was reported damaged.
Two firefighters, one 26 and the other 31 years old, were critically injured while battling the larger blaze near Irvine, according to the county’s Fire Authority, which didn’t provide details on how the injuries occurred. They each suffered second- and third-degree burns over large portions of their bodies and were intubated at a hospital, officials said.
Pat McGrath, 78, of Irvine, went to a shelter after a stranger pounded on her door Monday as she made breakfast. The stranger told her about the evacuation orders.
“I just panicked. I started crying,” McGrath, who has no family on the West Coast, told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m cold, I’m hungry, I’m stressed and I don’t know what to do.”
Southern California Edison reported to the state’s Public Utilities Commission that is was investigating whether its equipment might have sparked the blaze. The utility said a wire that lashed a telecommunications line to a supporting cable may have struck a 12,000-volt SCE conducting line above it.
SCE was among utilities that cut power to customers to prevent equipment from being knocked down or fouled by debris in the winds and sparking wildfires.

SCE cut power to about 38,000 homes and businesses, although it restored some power by Monday night.
The winds were so strong that firefighters had to ground their aircraft for much of the day in Irvine, though they got back up by late Monday afternoon and continued their work into the night.
In Northern California, the easing of winds allowed Pacific Gas & Electric to begin restoring power after the largest of five safety shutoffs this year.
At its peak, PG&E blacked out about 345,000 customers — an estimated 1 million people — in 34 counties. PG&E said it had restored power to more than 150,000 customers by Monday evening with electricity to be back on at the other homes and buildings by Tuesday night after crews conduct air and ground inspections to make repairs and ensure it’s safe.
A dozen reports of damage had been received, PG&E said.
Nearly two dozen wildfires were reported in Northern California Sunday night and Monday but all were rapidly contained without serious damage.
However, the fire threat was far from over in many parts of PG&E’s vast service area. A red-flag warning of extreme fire danger was in effect into Tuesday morning in the Santa Cruz Mountains and some coastal and valley areas, with warnings extending into Tuesday evening for some higher elevations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Continuing “bone-dry” humidity could dry out vegetation, which can contribute to “catastrophic” fires, PG&E meteorology chief Scott Strenfel said.
“The conditions are very, very unsafe,” said Mark Quinlan, the utility’s incident commander.
However, once the winds ease, the weather should remain calm through the weekend, Quinlan said.
After this event, no offshore high-wind events are forecasted for the next five days, but no rain is in sight either, Strenfel said.
Scientists have said climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable. October and November are traditionally the worst months for fires, but already this year 8,600 wildfires in the state have scorched a record 6,400 square miles (16,600 square kilometers) and destroyed about 9,200 homes, businesses and other buildings. There have been 31 deaths.
———
Rodriguez reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writer Amy Taxin in Orange County, California, contributed to this report.

Shares skidded in Europe and Asia on Tuesday after surging coronavirus cases and waning hopes for U.S. economic stimulus gave Wall Street its worst day in a month.Stock benchmarks fell in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul. Tokyo was flat. Shanghai recovered from early losses to edge higher.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell 1.9%, deepening its losses from last week. Stocks of companies worst hit by the pandemic logged some of the biggest losses. Cruise lines, airlines and energy stocks tumbled in tandem with crude oil prices.
In another sign of caution, Treasury yields pulled back after touching their highest level since June last week and were steady at 0.80% on Tuesday.
Unease over possible economic disruptions from a resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks has added to uncertainties with the U.S. presidential vote just one week away.
Doubts are mounting that Washington will come through with more stimulus for the economy before the Nov. 3 Election Day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach an agreement to send cash to most Americans, restart supplemental benefits for laid-off workers and provide aid to schools, among other things.
“There are only eight days left for the U.S. presidential election and there are still no signs of second stimulus package. There is no doubt that investors have become a lot more nervous now than before,” Naeem Aslam of Avatrade.com said in a commentary.
Germany’s DAX lost 0.3% to 12,136.88 while the CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.6% to 4,786.86. In Britain, the FTSE 100 gave up 0.% to 5,775.35. U.S. futures were little changed, with the contract for the Dow industrials flat and the S&P 500’s up less than 0.1%.
Coronavirus counts are surging in much of the United States and Europe, raising concerns about more damage to still-weakened economies. In Europe, Spain’s government has declared a national state of emergency that includes an overnight curfew, while Italy ordered restaurants and bars to close each day by 6 p.m. and shut down gyms, pools and movie theaters.
The gloom carried into trading in Asia, where Japan’s Nikkei 225 was almost unchanged at 23,485.80. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.5% to 24,787.19. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6% to 2,330.01, while the S&P/ASX 200 slumped 1.7% to 6,051.00. The Shanghai Composite index recovered from early losses, edging 0.1% higher to 3,254.32.

India’s Sensex advanced 0.5% to 40,352.94.
South Korea reported better than expected 1.9% quarter-on-quarter economic growth in the last quarter, following a 3.2% quarterly decline in April-June. On an annual basis, the economy contracted 1.3%, compared with expectations for a 1.8% decline according to FactSet. Strong exports led the rebound, economists said.
Overnight, the S&P 500 dropped to 3,400.97, while the Dow slumped 2.3%, to 27,685.38. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.6% to 11,358.94. Smaller company stocks also took heavy losses, knocking the Russell 2000 index down 2.2%, to 1,605.21.
The U.S. economy has recovered a bit since stay-at-home restrictions that swept the country earlier this year eased. Economists expect a report on Thursday to show it grew at an annual rate of 30.2% during the summer quarter after shrinking 31.4% during the second quarter.
But momentum has slowed after a round of supplemental unemployment benefits and other stimulus that Congress approved earlier this year expired.
On Tuesday, oil prices steadied, with U.S. benchmark crude gaining 17 cents to $38.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It skidded $1.29 to $38.56 on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 19 cents to $41.00 per barrel.
This week is the busiest of this quarter’s earnings season, with more than a third of the companies in the S&P 500 index scheduled to report. Besides Amazon and Apple, Ford Motor, General Electric and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, are also on the docket.
Across the S&P 500, profit reports for the summer have been mostly better than Wall Street had feared, though they’re still on pace to be more than 16% lower than year-ago levels.
In currency trading, the dollar bought 104.78 Japanese yen, down from 104.86 late Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1804 from $1.1811.

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Around 10,000 people in Bangladesh rallied in the South Asian nation’s capital on Tuesday to protest France’s president and his staunch support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech.Protesters from the conservative Islami Andolon Bangladesh group, which supports the introduction of Islamic law in the Muslim-majority country, carried banners and placards reading: “All Muslims of the world, unite” and “Boycott France.” It was the largest protest yet against the cartoons in recent days.

Some carried portraits of French President Emmanuel Macron with an “X” on his face. One protester carried a cutout image of the French president with shoes around his neck as a sign of insult.
The issue has once again come to light in recent days following a gruesome beheading near Paris of a French teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class. The 18-year-old Chechen refugee who carried out the attack was later shot dead by police.
The teacher, Samuel Paty, has been heralded as a symbol of France’s staunch secular ideals and its rejection of religious intrusion in public spheres. Macron and members of his government have vowed to continue supporting such caricatures as protected under freedom of expression.
Muslim politicians, religious scholars and everyday people have condemned such depictions as a form of hate speech and view them as sacrilegious and insulting to Islam. Muslims have been calling for both protests and a boycott of French goods in response to France’s stance on caricatures of Islam’s most revered prophet.
Five years ago, French-born al-Qaida extremists killed 12 employees of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in response to its publication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Those cartoons also sparked mass protests in Muslim-majority countries, with some turning deadly.
Elsewhere, Iran summoned a French diplomat to protest France’s stance on the caricatures. A report by state TV on Tuesday said an Iranian official in the country’s Foreign Ministry told the French diplomat that Paris’ response in the aftermath of Paty’s killing was “unwise” and that France was permitting hatred against Islam under the guise of support for freedom of expression.
A powerful association of clerics in the Iranian city of Qom also urged the government to condemn Macron. Iranian hard-line newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz depicted Macron as the devil and called him Satan in a cartoon on its front page Tuesday.
Pakistan’s parliament passed a resolution condemning the publication of cartoons of the prophet.

In Saudi Arabia, the country’s state-run Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday put out a statement from the Foreign Ministry saying the kingdom “rejects any attempt to link Islam and terrorism, and denounces the offensive cartoons of the prophet.” Saudi clerics have too condemned the caricatures, but have also cited the prophet’s “mercy, justice, tolerance”. Another prominent sheikh called on Muslims not to overreact.
The Arab Gulf state of Qatar also condemned what it described as “the dramatic escalation of populist rhetoric” inciting religious abuse. In a statement, the government said inflammatory speech is fueling calls for the repeated targeting of nearly 2 billion Muslims around the world through the deliberate offending of the Prophet Muhammad and has led to an increase in hostility toward Muslims.
Bangladeshi protesters gathered in front of the main Baitul Mokarram Mosque in downtown Dhaka Tuesday morning. The group walked toward the French Embassy, but police intercepted the march, which ended without violence.
Protests have also been held recently in Iraq, Turkey the Gaza Strip and in opposition areas of northwestern Syria controlled by Turkey-backed rebels.
Rezaul Karim, the head of the Islami Andolon group in Bangladesh, called on France to refrain from displaying caricatures of the prophet.
“We, the Muslims, never did caricatures of other religious leaders,” he said.
“Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad as an ambassador of peace … Macron and his associates did not learn anything from history,” he added, before calling on Muslims to boycott French goods.
Karim also said Macron should be treated for his “mental illness,” remarks similar to those made days earlier by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s been the most vociferous in his criticism among political leaders in saying Macron needed his head examined and had lost his way. France has since recalled its ambassador to Turkey and other European nations have defended Macron.
Bangladesh’s leadership, however, has not come out in criticism of France, as Turkey, Pakistan and other Muslim-majority nations have done. Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million mostly Muslim people, is governed by a secular constitution.
In the Middle East, Kuwaiti stores have pulled French yogurts, cheese and bottles of sparkling water from their shelves, Qatar University canceled a French culture week, and calls to stay away from the French-owned Carrefour grocery store chain were trending on social media in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
———
Associated Press writers Nasser Karimi in Tehran, and Jon Gambrell and Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

Miami-Dade police said authorities found the body of an aspiring hip-hop artist inside the trunk of a Virginia man’s car after he crashed on a Miami highway

ByThe Associated Press

October 27, 2020, 10:03 AM
• 2 min read

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MIAMI — Authorities found the body of an aspiring hip-hop artist inside the trunk of a Virginia man’s car after he crashed on a Miami highway, police said.
Robert Deupree Avery Coltrain, 25, was arrested and charged with illegal transport of human remains and second-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Brian Trotter, news outlets reported.

A Miami-Dade police report said Florida Highway Patrol responded to a crash on the Palmetto Expressway Sunday afternoon and found Coltrain and his silver Acura.
Troopers towed the car to the parking lot of Hialeah’s Westland Mall and became suspicious of Coltrain when he asked to remove his belongings from the car, which included a gun case.
Authorities said they were also suspicious because they noticed buzzing flies and the smell of rotting flesh around the car.
Troopers opened Coltrain’s trunk and found Trotter’s body “wrapped in a piece of fabric and in an advanced stage of decomposition,” the police report said.
An autopsy revealed Trotter was fatally shot multiple times.
A motive for the killing wasn’t immediately released. It’s unclear whether Coltrain had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Trotter was last seen on Oct. 17 leaving his home in Triangle, Virginia with Coltrain, who is also from Virginia.
The two had been friends for more than a decade. Trotter’s family said he was trying to forge a hip-hop career. His rap name was “Kent Won’t Stop.”

With the presidential election just days away, record voter turnout is being met with the specter of voter intimidation, leaving some Americans with fears of confrontation at the polls from now until Nov. 3.Civil rights advocates, election experts, and government officials have expressed heightened concerns following President Donald Trump’s recent call for his supporters to “go into the polls and watch” for possible voting fraud, as well as his reelection campaign’s recruitment and training what it has called an “army” of supporters to become poll watchers. And they are working hard to make sure Americans know their rights when they get to the polls and know how to protect them.

“Voter intimidation is against the law, period,” Vanita Gupta, CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, told ABC News. “In the current political environment, there’s a palpable concern about voter intimidation that should not be understated, and there’s a genuine need for good-faith poll observers to be on alert for threats to the most fundamental aspect of our democracy: free and fair elections,” she said.

While experts say the overwhelming majority of voters will not experience intimidation, there are a few factors that make this election cycle stand out: the expiration of the 1981 consent decree that limited the RNC’s ability to engage in what it called “ballot security measures” following allegations of voter intimidation, and the rise of far-right armed groups and Trump’s reluctance to distance himself from them.

People wait in line to cast their ballots outside Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building on the first day of in-person early voting for the Nov. 3, 2020 elections in Milwaukee, Wis., on Oct. 20, 2020.

People wait in line to cast their ballots outside Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building on the first day of in-person early voting for the Nov. 3, 2020 elections in Milwaukee, Wis., on Oct. 20, 2020.

The concern is particularly acute for voters of color, who have historically been targeted by voter intimidation efforts. But experts say that voter intimidation will not be pervasive, despite the environment — and that there is a good deal that individuals can do to counter it.
“I hope that most voters in most places won’t encounter anything like this. They will go to the polls, they will have the experience that every American is entitled to have, which is a peaceful chance to cast a constitutionally protected vote,” said Joshua Geltzer, executive director of the Institute of Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University. “But there’s reason to ensure that those who might not have that experience know what to do this cycle, because this cycle is at least raising the possibility that it won’t unfold that way for every American.”
Here’s what to know about potential voter intimidation efforts this election cycle, what states and other authorities are doing to counter them, and what you can do.
Increased reports of intimidation

For the first time, the Institute of Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University is partnering with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the lead civil rights advocacy group that runs the Voter Protection Hotline, to respond to calls from voters who report seeing armed groups patrolling around polling locations.
Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told ABC News that the Committee has, through its hotline, seen a rise in complaints of voter intimidation, including reports of militia activity.

“The work is now intersecting with the election cycle. It is clear that these groups not only feel emboldened generally, but they feel emboldened specifically in relation to voting and specifically in relation to people going to the polls,” Geltzer said.
“And while of course there are legitimate poll watchers authorized by law in various states, that is a far cry from encouraging just anyone to show up and cause problems at the polls, which is what the president seems to be doing,” he added.
Geltzer told ABC News that the orientation of these armed groups, which he said are often white supremacist in nature, leaves communities of color vulnerable to intimidation.

Members of the far-right Proud Boys stand in front of demonstrators outside the site of the 2020 vice presidential debate at the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Oct. 7, 2020.

Members of the far-right Proud Boys stand in front of demonstrators outside the site of the 2020 vice presidential debate at the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Oct. 7, 2020.

Despite the heightened chatter about possible intimidation, Clarke says she doesn’t believe “there is a systemic national voter intimidation campaign underway.”
Still, she said she believes it’s important to call out any concerns. “We want to ensure that voters feel free to cast their ballots, but when an incident of intimidation arises, we believe it’s important that people report it to election officials, report it to our nonpartisan hotline, and report it to local law enforcement if they feel threatened,” she said, adding that voters need not be worried but should remain on alert.
What should voters do?
Federal law states that “no person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote.”
Asked what constitutes voter intimidation, Geltzer told ABC News that “the answer is a pretty wide array of activity that is impermissible, so certainly violent behavior in or near a polling site.”
“Confronting voters, especially doing so in military-style uniforms, brandishing firearms to intimidate voters from approaching a polling station or casting a vote, verbally threatening violence, all of this is the type of conduct that would constitute voter intimidation,” he said.
The ability for licensed gun owners to carry a firearm at a polling place varies around the country. Roughly a dozen states, including Georgia, California, Arizona, and Florida explicitly ban concealed or open-carry guns at a polling place. In light of the increased concerns, some state officials have taken precautionary measures, including Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, whose office now faces a civil lawsuit after banning open-carry firearms at polling sites — a measure she said would “protect our voters from intimidation, threats, and harassment.”

Sarah Brannon, managing attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, says states also have varying laws and specific regulations designed to protect voters and ensure an orderly polling place.
“All states have a rule about how close you can get to the polling place if you are not a voter. So if you’re there protesting or supporting your candidate, you have to stay, in many circumstances, 50 to 75 feet away from the door of the polling place, so that people can go in and out of the place without feeling obstructed.”

Voters wait in line to enter a polling place and cast their ballots on the first day of the state’s in-person early voting for the general election in Durham, N.C., Oct. 15, 2020.

Voters wait in line to enter a polling place and cast their ballots on the first day of the state’s in-person early voting for the general election in Durham, N.C., Oct. 15, 2020.

What poll watchers are and aren’t
Though statutes vary from state to state, certified poll watchers are generally appointed by political parties, or candidates on the ballot to oversee the voting process and report any issues to election officials or party officials.
While poll watchers can closely monitor voting, they can’t campaign inside a precinct, or interfere with the voting process beyond reporting an issue, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Even with the right certifications, the ACLU stresses that poll watchers cannot “aggressively ask voters about their citizenship, criminal record, or other qualifications in a manner that interferes with a person’s voter rights.”
“If somebody were to ask that kind of a question of you, you can just sign [a sworn statement] to affirm the truth of who you are and your eligibility. So there’s a mechanism that will allow you to vote, even if somebody is asking questions,” Brannon said.

Voters cast their early voting ballot at a drop box outside of City Hall on Oct. 17, 2020 in Philadelphia.

Voters cast their early voting ballot at a drop box outside of City Hall on Oct. 17, 2020 in Philadelphia.

Brannon advised that people should educate themselves about the voting process and know the federal and state laws so that they’re well-informed and not influenced by rhetoric.
Experts say they expect a mostly peaceful election day, but in case you feel threatened, or encounter violence, call 911 immediately. Law enforcement and local authorities should be able to help you address any immediate threat or attempts of voter suppression you might face while trying to cast your vote.
If it’s “something short of the fear of imminent violence,” Geltzer says, then he advises telling a poll worker or an election official if you feel you’re experiencing any coercion or voter suppression.
“It may be worth documenting it because campaigns themselves, or others who assess after the fact, will want to know whether voting unfolded fairly,” Geltzer noted, adding that you can also contact the Election Protection Hotline by dialing 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Brannon says she wants Americans to feel confident knowing that attempts to intimidate voters are “not as easy to do as some of the rhetoric might suggest.”
“It’s very important that everybody votes in the election and we hope people know and feel comfortable knowing that even if there are protests or people at a polling place who are supporting their candidate and being loud, that there are rules about what they can and cannot do so that people casting their ballot can have some level of protection in that environment,” Brannon said.
ABC News’ Kelsey Walsh and Terrance Smith contributed to this report.

NEW YORK — Shares skidded in Asia on Tuesday after surging coronavirus cases and waning hopes for U.S. economic stimulus gave Wall Street its worst day in a month.Stock benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney. Shares were flat in South Korea, where economic growth data were slightly better than expected.

Overnight, the S&P 500 fell 1.9%, deepening its losses from last week. Stocks of companies worst hit by the pandemic logged some of the biggest losses. Cruise lines, airlines and energy stocks tumbled in tandem with crude oil prices.
In another sign of caution, Treasury yields pulled back after touching their highest level since June last week and were steady at 0.80% on Tuesday.
The gloom carried into trading in Asia, where Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.3% to 23,428.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.8% to 24,719.38. South Korea’s Kospi gained a fraction of a point to 2,344.48, while the S&P/ASX 200 slumped 1.8% to 6,042.60. The Shanghai Composite index gave up 0.2% to 3,244.23.
South Korea’s relatively strong showing reflected a better than expected 1.9% economic growth in the last quarter, following a 3.2% quarterly decline in April-June. Strong exports led the rebound, economists said.
Doubts are mounting that Washington will come through with more stimulus for the economy before the Nov. 3 Election Day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach an agreement in a phone call Monday, according to a Pelosi aide. The two have been discussing a potential deal to send cash to most Americans, restart supplemental benefits for laid-off workers and provide aid to schools, among other things.
Any compromise reached between House Democrats and the White House faces stiff resistance from Republicans in control of the Senate. Another concern is that possible delays in sorting out the results of next week’s elections could end up pushing a stimulus deal back indefinitely.
Coronavirus counts are surging in much of the United States and Europe, raising concerns about more damage to still-weakened economies. In Europe, Spain’s government has declared a national state of emergency that includes an overnight curfew, while Italy ordered restaurants and bars to close each day by 6 p.m. and shut down gyms, pools and movie theaters.
“While we are seeing nations attempt to stifle the spread of the virus through more localized and tentative restrictions, it seems highly likely that we will eventually see a swathe of nationwide lockdowns if the trajectory cannot be reversed,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG in London.

The S&P 500 slid 1.9% to 3,400.97. The Dow slumped 2.3%, to 27,685.38. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.6% to 11,358.94. Smaller company stocks also took heavy losses, knocking the Russell 2000 index down 2.2%, to 1,605.21.
The U.S. economy has recovered a bit since stay-at-home restrictions that swept the country earlier this year eased. Economists expect a report on Thursday to show it grew at an annual rate of 30.2% during the summer quarter after shrinking 31.4% during the second quarter.
But momentum has slowed after a round of supplemental unemployment benefits and other stimulus that Congress approved earlier this year expired.
Stocks of companies that need the virus to abate and the economy to return to normal logged some of the sharpest losses Monday.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings fell 8.4%, Marathon Oil dropped 7% and United Airlines lost 7%.
Energy stocks dropped to the largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500, falling in concert with oil prices. All told, about 92% of the stocks in the S&P 500 closed lower.
On Tuesday, oil prices steadied, with U.S. benchmark crude gaining 19 cents to $38.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It skidded $1.29 to $38.56 on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 20 cents to $41.01 per barrel.
This upcoming week is the busiest of this quarter’s earnings season, with more than a third of the companies in the S&P 500 index scheduled to report. Besides Amazon and Apple, Ford Motor, General Electric and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, are also on the docket.
Across the S&P 500, profit reports for the summer have been mostly better than Wall Street had feared, though they’re still on pace to be more than 16% lower than year-ago levels. Still, by Friday, 84% of S&P 500 companies had reported better results than analysts had forecast, according to FactSet. If that level holds, it would be the best since at least 2008, when FactSet’s records began.
In currency trading, the dollar bought 104.72 Japanese yen, down from 104.86 late Monday. The euro was trading at $1.1825, up from $1.1811.
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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Stan Choe and Alex Veiga contributed.

Procedures/Methods
DESIGN
Statement of purpose: This toolkit is designed to provide state and local health departments with the tools needed to investigate suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.
How investigational design meets objectives: This toolkit can be used in conjunction with surveillance (passive or active) for suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. Once the study population is identified, chart abstraction and reviews of existing surveillance reporting will be used to characterize suspected cases. Additionally, paired specimens might undergo confirmatory RT-PCR, viral culture, sgmRNA, and genomic sequencing to provide evidence of reinfection.
Description of risks: This research involves little to no risk to participants. Adherence to the HIPAA Privacy Rule and deidentification of collected data will ensure participant anonymity. If additional nasal wash specimens are collected, adverse effects are expected to be mild but could include nosebleeds and nasal irritation. If additional serum is collected, adverse effects are expected to be mild but could include hematoma or bruising. There is also minimal risk to the medical professionals. For sub-studies pursuing additional specimen collection we recommend following universal precautions and COVID-19 guidance on specimen collection and transport (Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens for COVID-19).
Description of anticipated benefits to the research participant: We anticipate that research participants will benefit from the improved COVID-19 prevention guidelines that will result from this research.
Description of the potential risks to anticipated benefit ratio: The potential risks posed by specimen collection are outweighed by the societal and individual benefit of enhanced surveillance and improved prevention guidelines that could reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within communities.
STUDY POPULATION
Description and source of study population: The study population can include all individuals with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the surveillance catchment area or the health department’s jurisdiction.
Investigative criteria:
Prioritize persons with detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA ≥90 days since first SARS-CoV-2 infection:
Persons with detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA* ≥90 days after the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, whether or not symptoms were present
AND
Paired respiratory specimens (one from each infection episode) are available
*If detected by RT-PCR, only include if Ct value