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Biden, Trump Prepare To Debate At A Time Of Mounting US Crises

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Biden Trump Prepare To Debate At A Time Of Mounting US Crises

The first presidential debate in this year’s U.S. General elections takes place tonight. The duel between incumbent Donald Trump and the man who intends to wrest the office from him, Joe Biden, could be an inflection point in an American election year like no other in living memory.

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This year’s White House race has remained unchanged for months, fueled to some extent by the coronavirus pandemic and a sinking economy.  The sustained demonstrations on racial injustice, police brutality and by black lives matter group have also played a role.

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These events have sharply outlined partisan feelings that have been hardened over the most polarizing of presidents.  As the race stands today, there are very few undecided voters left.

For Trump, the contest is one of his last opportunities to reshape the race and color voters’ impression of his opponent.

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The debate comes just five weeks before election day, and voting is already underway in some key battleground states.

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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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