Both presidential candidates will hold opposing town halls tonight, taking questions from an audience solo in lieu of a previously scheduled debate. President Trump's event will be in Miami, hosted by NBC News and moderated by "TODAY" anchor Savannah Guthrie (8pm ET, NBC). Democratic nominee Joe Biden will participate in a similar event in Philadelphia, moderated by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos (8pm ET, ABC). A debate between the two, also a town hall format, was scrapped after Trump objected to a virtual format, proposed in the wake of his COVID-19 diagnosis. He has since been
cleared for public events.
The second and final debate will proceed as scheduled, next Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee, moderated by NBC News' Kristen Welker.
Separately, a federal judge extended Virginia's voter registration window to Friday after a severed fiber optic cable caused the online portal to
crash on the day of the deadline.
Hunter Biden Emails
A bombshell report yesterday revealed emails purportedly showing Hunter Biden using his influence with his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to better the fortunes of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma. The elder Biden has repeatedly denied involvement in his son's overseas interests, while Hunter's relationship with the company has been heavily scrutinized as a conflict of interest (see background).
Critics flagged a number of potential issues with the article, including the circuitous route by which the emails were obtained. According to the report, a broken laptop was dropped off in April 2019 by an unidentified person at a Delaware computer repair shop; the customer never paid or returned for the item. Realizing the connection to the Bidens, the shop owner alerted the FBI—but first made a copy of the hard drive, ultimately shared with Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Only images of the text—not the emails themselves—have been released, making third-party confirmation
difficult (more here, $$, Medium). Also reportedly included is a video of drug use by the younger Biden. Facebook limited spread of the article, pending a fact check.
Senate investigators probed the Hunter Biden-Burisma connection over the past year, ultimately releasing a report (PDF) criticizing the relationship in September. Yesterday's documents were not uncovered during the probe. The committee is said to be attempting to verify the new materials.
Superconductivity Warms Up
Scientists have observed room-temperature superconductivity for the first time, according to new research published yesterday. But there's a catch—the behavior is only observed at extremely high pressures, comparable to those found at the center of the Earth. The extreme requirements prohibit any immediate applications, but demonstrate the intriguing possibilities of a new class of materials that involve just hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur.
electrons move through a material without any resistance (see 101)—has long been considered a holy grail of physics due to its exciting applications. The lack of resistance means no heat is generated (no energy dissipates), and electricity could be transported over vast distances without any loss of power. They also expel magnetic fields (watch in action), and could be used in ultraefficient levitating trains.
most superconductors operate at extremely low temperatures, typically below –150 degrees. The new material maintains its properties at temperatures near 60 degrees.
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THE ORIGINAL MATTRESS IN A BOX
Buying a mattress used to be a drag. Head on over to the mattress store, test a bunch of options, and pick the one that you thought would—maybe—fit best with your room and body. And the worst part—it was so expensive.
But not anymore. In 2014, Casper revolutionized the mattress industry by popularizing the mattress-in-a-box. Just head online, pick the model that best aligns with your budget, and they'll deliver it to your door
in a matter of days. No more middleman markups, and no more hitching a mattress to the roof of your car. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sleep. If you don't love it after 100 nights, they'll refund you with no questions asked.
>Los Angeles Dodgers set record with 11 first-inning runs in win over Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of National League Championship Series (More) | Houston Astros win Game 4 to stay alive in American League Championship Series, still down 3-1 to Tampa Bay Rays (More)
>NFL cancels 2021 Pro Bowl due to COVID-19, will host virtual events instead; Las Vegas awarded 2022 game(More) | University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19 (More)
Malone wins big at 2020 Billboard Music Awards, taking home nine awards including Top Artist; see full list of winners(More)
Science & Technology
>Satellite datasuggest it may soon be possible to map and track every single tree planted on Earth (More)
>New species of water bear found to be able to survive extreme ultraviolet radiation; the micro-animals are capable of surviving extreme heat, cold, and outer space (More) | Learn more about tardigrades, the world's toughest organism (More)
>Honeybees use chemicals produced by their gut bacteria to identify each other, according to new study (More)
Business & Markets
>Wall Street banks kick off third quarter earnings season mixed, as bank CEOs weigh effect of pandemic on future earnings (More) | Wells Fargo terminates more than 100 employees for improperly collecting pandemic relief funds (More)
>Management label of BTS, popular South Korean boy band, surges in South Korea’s largest IPO in three years (More)
>Billionaire private equity founder Robert F. Smith to settle four-year tax crimes investigation for $140M (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faces second day of questioning from Senate Judiciary Committee; procedural vote scheduled for today, final committee vote expected next week (More)
>Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigns after protests over accusations of vote buying during recent parliamentary elections (More) | Thailand declares state of emergency over student-led pro-democracy protests (More)
>Tiered COVID-19 restrictions go into effect in the United Kingdom; Liverpool and Northern Ireland go under toughest restrictions (More) | France institutes curfew on Paris and eight other cities amid surge in cases (More)
Caught From Behind
Sports Illustrated | Michael Rosenberg. The University of Southern California had 12 linebackers on its 1989 football team—five died before the age of 50. What happened? (Read)
Mending a Broken Internet
WIRED | Eli Pariser. The internet has fallen far short of its original promise, filled with toxicity, trolling, and worse. One step to fixing it may be building the equivalent of public parks in the digital sphere. (Read, $$)
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Historybook: "I Love Lucy" airs for first time (1951); HBD Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, the Duchess of York (1959); Black Panther Party is created (1966); Wayne Gretzky becomes all-time NHL points leader (1989); RIP Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen (2018).
"Each failure contains the seeds of your next success."
- Paul Allen
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