In our news wrap Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote in one week on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The panel’s Republican majority set the schedule after a discussion that split along party lines. Also, the president of Kyrgyzstan has resigned after a week of protests. Unrest in the country began after his allies were declared winners of disputed parliamentary elections.
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In the day's other news Senate Republicans vowed to subpoena the CEO of Twitter for blocking a politically charged and uncorroborated in The New York Post.
It involved Hunter Biden, son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his business dealings in Ukraine. President Trump accused Twitter of censoring news to help Democrats. The company said the story violated a rule against spreading private information obtained through hacking.
The Senate Judiciary Committee now plans to vote one week from today on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The panel's Republican majority set the schedule today, after a discussion that once again split along party lines.
Sen. Richard Blumental, D-Conn.:
What we are seeing here is an exercise of just raw political power. You're moving ahead with this nomination because you can.
But might does not make right. And the American people put us here to do what we think is right.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:
The disappointment of our Democratic colleagues is real, because they have been accustomed to the Supreme Court being policy-makers. So, I understand their disappointment. But I think their loss is the American people's gain.
Republicans are pushing to get Barrett confirmed by the full Senate before Election Day.
The U.S. economy is giving off fresh signals that its recovery from the pandemic may be stalling. The Labor Department reported today that new unemployment claims jumped to 898,000 last week. Seventeen states reported sizable increases.
COVID-19 infections in the U.S. are also surging again, with almost 60,000 new cases a day spread across 44 states. That prompted fresh warnings today from infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In an interview, he said things could get much worse, with cold weather coming.
You don't want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection is high and you are increasing, as opposed to going in the other direction. So we have really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day, because they can make a difference.
Fauci urged Americans to reconsider plans for Thanksgiving gatherings that could spread the virus.
In Yemen, warring parties began a prisoner swap brokered by the U.N. It involves some 1,000 men held by a Saudi coalition and Shiite Houthi rebels backed by Iran. Today, the first of the Saudi coalition prisoners held by the Houthis landed in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, with emotional tarmac reunions. Yesterday, the Houthis also freed two captive Americans.
The president of Kyrgyzstan resigned today after a week of protests. Unrest in the Central Asian country started after his allies were declared the winners of disputed parliamentary elections. This is the third time that a Kyrgyz leader has been ousted by popular uprising since 2006.
Thailand's capital, Bangkok, is under a strict state of emergency over protests aimed at the monarchy and ruling establishment. Despite that, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators still rallied in the business district today. Many made a three-finger salute symbolizing defiance.
Nueng (through translator):
A reform of the monarchy institution is calling for a change, not an abolishment. We want the monarchy to remain under a democratic system, just like every other nation. The elite system should no longer exist.
The demonstrations, led by students, have grown over the past three months.
Back in this country, more than 50,000 customers across Northern California went without power today, in the face of extreme fire danger. Pacific Gas & Electric imposed outages last night, fearing that high winds could blow down power lines and spark new flames. The state has already had more than 8,500 wildfires this year.
The U.S. Postal Service is reversing changes that slowed Postal Service nationwide. They included cuts in retail hours and removal of some collection boxes and sorting machines. The reversal is part of a legal settlement with the state of Montana. It also gives priority to election mail.
The U.S. Justice Department has brought its largest tax fraud case ever against an individual. Software mogul Robert Brockman was charged today in a $2 billion scheme. Federal prosecutors say that he used secret accounts to hide and launder money over 20 years.
And on Wall Street, stocks had another lackluster day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 19 points to close at 28494. The Nasdaq fell 54 points and the S&P 500 slipped five.