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In our news wrap Monday, suicides in the U.S. military are up 20 percent this year over last year. Air Force and Army officials say the stress of COVID-19 and isolation may be partly to blame, and the Army says it is considering shortening combat deployments in response. Also, demonstrations in Belarus are continuing, with protesters saying President Alexander Lukashenko rigged his reelection.
In the day's other news: The U.S. Senate was largely silent, but, come tomorrow, the fight over confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court begins in earnest.
The federal appeals judge faces confirmation hearings starting October 12. A full Senate vote is set for October 29. We will focus on the fight and on Barrett's record after the news summary.
The world is on the cusp tonight of one million deaths from COVID-19, including some 205,000 here in the United States. That comes as U.S. infections are rising again.
At the White House, Vice President Pence forecast even higher numbers, as millions of rapid tests go out to the states next week.
Vice President Mike Pence:
And with this historic advance in testing that's being distributed 150-strong around the country, Mr. President, the American people should anticipate that cases will rise in the days ahead.
For his part, President Trump claimed again that the country is rounding the corner on the pandemic.
But NBC News reported that Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, said that — quote — "We are nowhere near the end."
And, tonight, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he has concerns about a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He told CNN that Dr. Scott Atlas sometimes gives information to the president that is — quote — "taken either out of context or is actually incorrect."
Suicides in the military are up 20 percent this year over last year. Air Force and Army officials say that the stress of COVID-19 restrictions and isolations may be partly to blame. The Army says it is looking at shortening combat deployments as one response.
In Belarus, mass protests are continuing, and so are the arrests. At least 100,000 people marched in Minsk on Sunday, and riot police responded with tear gas. In all, 500 people were detained over the weekend. The protesters say that President Alexander Lukashenko rigged his reelection and must step down.
New fighting has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in a longstanding border conflict in Southwestern Asia. Attacks began Sunday in Nagorno-Karabakh. It's a separatist region inside Azerbaijan, but controlled by ethnic Armenians. Reports said that dozens of people were killed or wounded.
Neighboring Turkey backs Azerbaijan, and its president blamed Armenia for the trouble.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (through translator):
I once again condemn Armenia. Turkey will continue to stand by its friend and brethren Azerbaijan by all means and with all its heart. It is time to bring an end to the regional crisis that started with Nagorno-Karabakh's occupation.
Russia also voiced concern and joined calls for an immediate cease-fire.
Back in this country, Northern California's Wine Country is on fire again, and more than 50,000 people around Santa Rosa and St. Helena have been told to leave. Fires broke out Sunday in the Napa-Sonoma region, and quickly quadrupled in size, burning a winery, an inn and homes. More than other 8,500 homes and buildings are still threatened.
President Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalized in Florida for psychiatric evaluation. Police talked him out of his Fort Lauderdale home on Sunday, after his wife reported he had guns and was threatening to hurt himself. Parscale was demoted from campaign manager in July, after a series of missteps.
The Trump administration's attempt to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores is now on hold. The ban on the Chinese-owned video-sharing app was set to take effect overnight, but a federal judge in New York blocked it. Lawyers for TikTok argued that it would infringe on First Amendment rights.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says tonight that the 2020 census will end on October 5. The move announced today in a tweet comes after a federal judge ruled last week that the count of every U.S. resident should continue through the end of next month.
And Wall Street started the week with a broad rally, helped by mergers and tech stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 410 points to close at 27584. The Nasdaq rose nearly 204 points and the S&P 500 added 53.
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