In our news wrap Monday, factory workers, students and businesses in Belarus staged a one-day national strike as President Alexander Lukashenko again defied calls to resign. Crowds filled the streets of Minsk in solidarity against Lukashenko and thousands of protester arrests in the past two months. Also, Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating a cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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In the day's other news: The United States Senate moved to confirm federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Majority Republicans lined up behind Barrett, while Democrats complained again that the Senate should not consider any nominee this close to an election.
We will report on the debate after the news summary.
Cities across the U.S. are now scrambling to contain fresh waves of COVID-19. Hard-hit El Paso, Texas, reported a record number of new cases today. Officials urged people to stay home for two weeks, as patients overwhelm hospitals.
And, in Europe, new surges in Italy forced bars and restaurants to close early, while a new nighttime curfew in Spain came into force.
Wall Street had a long day, as COVID cases surged and economic stimulus hopes dimmed. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 650 points, more than 2 percent, to close at 27685. The Nasdaq fell 189 points, and the S&P 500 fell 64.
In Belarus, factory workers, students and businesses staged a one-day national strike, as longtime President Alexander Lukashenko again defied demands to resign. Crowds of pensioners and students filled the streets of Minsk, linking arms in solidarity against Lukashenko and the arrests of thousands in two months of protests.
Woman (through translator):
Many social groups are now subject to violence. Those are health workers, journalists, students, and others. They have already been warned to leave the country. So, I am very worried. I want to see my children, to raise my grandchildren here in our country. That's why I made this poster.
The protesters say Lukashenko's August reelection was rigged.
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other today of violating the latest cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clashes resumed in the disputed mountainous territory populated by ethnic Armenians inside Azerbaijan. The cease-fire was agreed on Sunday in talks brokered by the U.S.
China has upped the ante in escalating tensions with the U.S. The Foreign Ministry announced sanctions today on U.S. military contractors that supply weapons to Taiwan, including Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Zhao Lijian (through translator):
As China has repeatedly pointed out, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously violates the one-China principle, and it severely damaged China's sovereignty and security interests. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns these arms sales.
Beijing also ordered six U.S. news media companies, including ABC, The Los Angeles Times and Minnesota Public Radio, to file detailed reports on their operations inside China. Last week, the U.S. ordered six Chinese media outlets to file similar information.
The 27th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season grew into Hurricane Zeta today. It's on track to strike Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula tonight, and then head north into the Gulf. The storm is likely to weaken and to land somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.
Extreme fire danger is again threatening parts of California. In the South, strong winds are pushing the Silverado fire in Orange County. That prompted evacuation orders today for some 70,000 people. In Northern California, more than a million people face blackouts to prevent high winds from damaging lines and sparking new fires.
The superintendent of Virginia Military Institute resigned today after Black cadets alleged systemic racism. Retired General J.H. Binford Peay has run the military college since 2003, and there have been repeated accounts of racist incidents. Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam has ordered an independent investigation.
And the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, Jason Lewis, had emergency surgery today. His campaign said it was a severe internal hernia, and that the surgery was successful. Lewis is challenging Tina Smith. He's the incumbent Democratic senator.