10 things you need to know today: September 20, 2020

Trump says he'll nominate a woman to replace Ginsburg on Supreme Court, U.S. nears 200,000 coronavirus deaths, and more

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Trump says he'll nominate a woman to replace Ginsburg on Supreme Court

Speaking at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Saturday night, President Trump told supporters that he has yet to select anyone to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat, but said his nominee will be a woman. Earlier Saturday, Trump said an announcement could come within a week and reiterated his preference that the confirmation process happens swiftly, preferably before the November election, which will certainly draw objections from his critics. In a phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has expressed his desire to fast-track a Senate vote, Trump mentioned two female appellate court judges — Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa — as possible selections. Barrett is seen as an early favorite.

The Washington Post Politico

2. U.S. nears 200,000 coronavirus deaths

As of Sunday morning, the United States' coronavirus death toll was approaching 200,000 people, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows. The total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has surpassed 6.7 million, the highest in the world ahead of India and Brazil. The U.S. reported about 41,000 new infections on Saturday, a drop from the previous day. Both cases and deaths are down from earlier this year, but some states are experiencing an increase in cases. On Friday, Utah reported its highest daily total since the pandemic began in March, and Montana did so Saturday. Elsewhere in the world, India reported more than 92,000 cases in the previous 24 hours, while the United Kingdom is bracing for the possibility of a second national lockdown amid rising cases. South Korea, meanwhile, tallied fewer than 100 new confirmed cases for the first time since mid-August on Sunday.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Wall Street Journal Johns Hopkins University

3. Trump gives Oracle green light for TikTok deal

President Trump said Saturday that he has given his "blessing" to a deal that will keep the popular social media app TikTok operating in the United States. U.S. tech company Oracle is joining up with Walmart to form a new entity called TikTok Global. The two companies plan to own a combined 20 percent, while TikTok's Chinese Parent company, ByteDance, is expected to retain 80 percent. Per NPR, TikTok Global will still be presented as majority-American owned since 40 percent of ByteDance is owned by U.S. investors. The deal itself is not done despite Trump's approval, but, as things stand, Walmart and Oracle would jointly pay $12 billion. The negotiations to sell TikTok were spurred by Trump's threat to ban the app in the U.S. over national security concerns as tensions between Washington and Beijing remain high.

Bloomberg NPR

4. ActBlue reels in $91.4 million in the days after Ginsburg's death

ActBlue, the Democratic Party's donation-processing site, received a record $91.4 million in the 28 hours following the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday. That figure was the result of 1.5 million contributions, indicating the looming battle over confirming Ginsburg's replacement on the high court will be a priority for both parties as the November election nears. Many records were set throughout the weekend, as donors set the single-day donation mark by pouring in $70.6 million on Saturday, surging past the previous one-day high of $41.6 million. The 1.2 million contributions on Saturday also set a record. The hourly record was set consecutively, first during the 9 p.m. ET hour on Friday evening and again during the 10 p.m. hour at $6.2 million and $6.3 million, respectively.

Axios Forbes

5. Thailand protesters hand list of demands over to authorities

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bangkok this weekend, taking part in some of the largest demonstrations in Thailand in years. The rallies were part of a movement seeking monarchy reform, and on Sunday protesters handed a list of ten demands — which include revoking laws against defaming the monarchy, a new constitution, abolishing royal offices, disbanding the king's royal guards, and ousting the military junta — to authorities, which CNN called "an explosive and unprecedented move in a country that reveres the king." Panasaya "Rung" Sitthijirawattanakul, a 21-year-old student activist, stood on a public stage to directly address King Vajiralongkorn, an act that could be punishable by 15 years in jail if her comments are considered defamatory by the monarchy. Protesters also installed a plaque near Bangkok's Grand Palace declaring that Thailand "belongs to the people."


6. More than 300 women detained during anti-government march in Belarus

Belarusian security forces detained more than 300 women who were taking part in an anti-government protest march Saturday. The demonstration reportedly began peacefully, but a group of riot police officers eventually surrounded a large group of demonstrators, trapping them before making arrests. By late evening, many of the detainees were released from local precincts after their photographs and fingerprints were taken. Among those detained was Nina Bahinskaya, a 73-year-old great-grandmother who the BBC notes has become an icon of the protest movement, which began after President Alexander Lukashenko was accused of election fraud following his latest victory that continued his 26-year rule. Saturday's march, which consisted of around 2,000 people, mostly women, has become a weekly prelude to mass demonstrations on Sundays.

BBC The New York Times

7. International community resists U.S. efforts to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran

In a statement Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened "consequences" for any United Nations member state that doesn't comply with Washington's unilateral declaration reimposing U.N. sanctions against Iran. The U.S. broke with the other permanent U.N. Security Council members with the move, and Iran and the international community, including close allies of the U.S., say the claim has no legal basis. The sanctions were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, which does include a mechanism that would snap them back into place should Iran breach its commitments, but the U.S. abandoned the pact two years ago, and despite Washington's argument that it's still a participant, other nations insist the U.S. gave up its ability to force the changes when it left.

Al Jazeera The Guardian

8. Tropical Storm Beta moves slowly toward Texas coast

The National Hurricane Center on Sunday said Tropical Storm Beta is located about 200 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, and moving slowly, bringing with it maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. Rick Reichmuth, Fox News' chief meteorologist, said the storm will "probably make some sort of landfall" across parts of the central Texas coast and will "bring a lot of rain." Tropical storm and storm surge warnings are in place in parts of Texas and Louisiana. If Beta does make landfall as expected, it would be the ninth named storm to do so this Atlantic hurricane season, which has been particularly active.

Fox News AccuWeather

9. Bobcat Fire continues to rage in Southern California, challenges firefighters

The Bobcat Fire continues to rage two weeks after it erupted in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountain region of Southern California. The blaze doubled in size Friday, aided by 30 mile per hour winds. The 93,842-acre fire has destroyed homes and is still threatening the Mount Wilson Observatory and nearby broadcast towers. Firefighters reportedly expect to have a long battle ahead of them as they work to protect homes in the surrounding areas, which have received evacuation orders. Containment of the blaze is currently at 15 percent and it's not expected to be fully contained until Oct. 30, officials say. No injuries have been reported as a result of the Bobcat fire, the cause of which hasn't been determined.


10. Virtual Emmys to air Sunday evening

The 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will head to the Staples Center to host the ceremony for the third time, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, he won't have an in-person audience like he normally would. Instead, producers shipped filming equipment all around the world to the nominees so they can give acceptance speeches live before heading over to a virtual press room, Vogue explains. There is no dress code for the nominees. Some of the shows expected to have a big night include the Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek, which ended it's well-received six-year run this year, and HBO dramas Watchmen and Succession.

Vogue Vox

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.