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News Wrap: Cut cable disrupts Virginia’s online voter registration system

In our news wrap Tuesday, Virginia online voter registration was disrupted on its final day of availability. State officials blamed an accidental cut in a fiber optic cable for the outage, which could prevent thousands from registering to vote. Also, the FBI says anti-government groups from several states discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, whose pandemic restrictions they opposed.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a halt to counting for the U.S. census. Civil rights groups wanted to continue until October 31 to prevent an undercount of minorities. The Trump administration argued that the count should end immediately, so that it can report final numbers by a year-end deadline.

    Online voter registration was disrupted in Virginia today on the deadline date for signing up. State officials blamed an accidental cut in a fiberoptic cable. The outage could prevent thousands of people from registering to vote.

    The FBI says that anti-government groups from several states discussed kidnapping Virginia Governor Ralph Northam last summer. An FBI agent says they opposed Northam's pandemic lockdown orders. The disclosure came today at a federal court hearing in Michigan, where six men are accused of plotting to kidnap that governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

    In Europe, the World Health Organization reports a second wave of COVID-19 is accelerating with 700,000 cases last week. That is up 34 percent from a week earlier. Britain, France, Russia and Spain are hardest-hit, and they and other countries are imposing fresh controls.

    In Italy today, there was grim acceptance by many.

  • Elisabetta Bolonzi (through translator):

    It must be done. That is what we have to do, because the infection is flying, and that is the only thing we can do to protect ourselves, the elderly, and children.

    There is not much to discuss about freedom. The fact is, we are all in the middle of a pandemic, full stop.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson halted a late-stage vaccine trial after a participant developed an unexplained illness.

    And Eli Lilly paused a study testing its drug remdesivir, after an — plus an antibody therapy. It — I'm sorry — an antibody therapy. It cited safety reasons, but it gave no details.

    The U.N. weather agency warned today that the numbers of people needing humanitarian help could jump 50 percent by 2030, due to natural disasters. That would be compared with 108 million people who needed aid in 2018. The U.N. group blames a rise in extreme weather events attributed to climate change.

    The World Trade Organization has cleared the way for the European Union to slap $4 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods. It stems from a long-running fight over aircraft subsidies. The WTO says that U.S. tax breaks for Boeing broke trade rules. It already authorized $7.5 billion in U.S. penalties on European goods, over E.U. support for Airbus.

    Back in this country, Social Security recipients will get a COLA, or cost-of-living adjustment, that averages $20 a month. Officials today announced an increase of 1.3 percent for next year. That is slightly less than this year's adjustment.

    And on Wall Street, stocks reined in after a four-day rally. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 157 points to close at 28679. The Nasdaq fell 12 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 22.

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