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A Chaotic First Debate: Taunts Overpower Trump, Biden Visions

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A Chaotic First Debate: Taunts Overpower Trump, Biden Visions

Few weeks to the United States presidential election, the first presidential debate between president Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden on Tuesday deteriorated into a bitter showdown as both candidates engaged in a heated and at times ugly exchange of words.

President Trump who is the Republican candidate seeking a second term relentlessly interrupted and attacked his Democratic rival during clashes over healthcare, economy, coronavirus pandemic, the future of the supreme court and climate change.

With just five weeks left until election day, Tuesday’s debate, moderated by Chris Wallace was perhaps Trump’s best opportunity yet to shift the dynamics of the race, which has been remarkable steady throughout an exceptional turbulent summer which sees him trailing in national and battleground state polls. It’s unclear whether the debate will do much to change those dynamics.

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Trump accused Biden of being a leftist and promoting socialism. Biden openly called Trump a racist and told him to “shut up” as Trump repeatedly tried to goad Biden with interruptions.

According to a count by CBS News, both candidates talked over each other in the 90-minute debate in Cleveland, Ohio but Trump cut in some 73 times.

Biden accused Trump of being the “worst president America has ever had”, the president shot back that he had done “more in 47 months than you’ve done in 47 years”, an indictment of the former vice-president’s long career in Washington.

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But even as Trump attempted to pin Biden, he trampled his own message with a stunning refusal to condemn white nationalism and commit to a peaceful transition of power.

Wallace, who pleaded with both men to stop talking over each other as he struggled at times to keep the debate on track. Biden tried to push back against Trump, sometimes looking right at the camera to directly address viewers rather than the president and snapping, “It’s hard to get a word in with this clown.”

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The moderator repeatedly reminded Trump that his campaign had agreed to terms of the debate that gave each candidate time to state their views without interruption.

Describing the debate as ‘awful’, Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University said “it was awful. It was hardly a debate. What we saw was Trump being Trump which was out of control most of the time.”

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21 Killed, Dozens Missing After Typhoon Molave Lashes Vietnam

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21 Killed, Dozens Missing After Typhoon Molave Lashes Vietnam

Typhoon Molave, the fourth storm to hit Vietnam in a month, has damaged some fifty-six thousand homes and left millions without electricity.  Molave is one of the strongest typhoons to hit the region in decades.

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Twenty-one persons have been confirmed killed and dozens more missing on Thursday after the typhoon tore through central Vietnam on Tuesday, triggering landslides in the central province of Quang Nam and causing some of the worst devastation seen in years.

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International federation of the red cross says since early October, Vietnam has been batterred by storms, heavy rains and floods which have left at least one hundred thirty persons dead.

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France Imposes Four-Week National Lockdown To Combat Coronavirus

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France Imposes Four-Week National Lockdown To Combat Coronavirus

French president, Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown to last till the end of next month.  The new measures would allow residents to only leave home for essential work or for medical reasons.

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Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.  Thirty-three thousand new cases of the virus were confirmed on Tuesday.

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Macron says the country risks a resurgence of the virus that may hit harder this time.

Meanwhile, Germany is also ready to impose a less severe emergency lockdown.  Restaurants, gyms and theaters will be closed.

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US Opposes Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO Appointment 

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US Opposes Okonjo-Iweala's WTO Appointment 

The United States is trying to throw a monkey-wrench in the appointment of Nigeria’s former two-time finance minister as the first African director-general of the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. has been at odds with the WTO on how it handles global trade.  It had thrown its support behind South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-Hee whom the U.S. believes could bring reforms to the organization.  The U.S. says it wants the WTO led by someone with real hand-on experience in the field.

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This does not mean Okonjo-Iweala would not become the organization’s boss.  WTO’s spokesman, Keith Rockwell said on Wednesday just one country, the U.S., did not support Okonjo-Iweala, but she has the backing of all 27 European Union countries.

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Unlike the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, appointments like this for the WTO require the votes of each of the one hundred sixty-four member countries.  A majority of those votes would get her through.

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