10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2020

Trump and Biden trade more jabs after chaotic debate, Trump signs a short-term deal to avoid a government shutdown, and more 

Joe Biden in Ohio
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

1. Trump, Biden campaign in Midwest after controversial debate

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden followed up their chaotic first debate with competing pitches for support from working-class voters in the Midwest on Wednesday. Biden called Trump's debate performance, which included frequent interruptions of Biden and moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, a "national embarrassment." He told supporters in Cleveland that Trump "lies" to them, and said, "I'll always tell you the truth." Trump faced widespread criticism for declining to condemn white supremacists when Wallace asked directly whether he would do so. Trump deflected criticism and gave himself high marks. "I see the ratings were very high and it was good to be there," he said.

The Associated Press

2. Trump signs short-term bill averting shutdown

President Trump early Thursday signed a bill keeping the government funded through Dec. 11, avoiding a partial government shutdown. The bill became law after a midnight deadline, but no government operations were expected to be disrupted. The bipartisan bill was quickly approved by the Senate after receiving White House approval last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach a compromise on another key spending bill — the new coronavirus relief package. Pelosi and Mnuchin met Wednesday and plan to continue discussions. House Democrats postponed a Wednesday vote on their $2.2 trillion proposal to allow more time for negotiations. Republicans want to spend less but vulnerable lawmakers from both parties are pushing for a deal before Election Day.

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3. Presidential debate organizers promise 'additional tools to maintain order'

The Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday said that Tuesday's acrimonious and messy debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden "made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues." Two more debates are scheduled. The organization said it will be "carefully considering" changes, promising to announced them "shortly." The debate frequently descended into chaos as Trump interrupted Biden. Tuesday's moderator, Chris Wallace, said it would be better to have "fewer interruptions." Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the only reason organizers were calling for changes was that "their guy got pummeled last night."

The Washington Post

4. Biden fundraising surges during debate

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic Party collected nearly $8 million on the ActBlue fundraising website between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tuesday, during Biden's first debate with President Trump. By 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the site had processed at least $25 million for numerous campaigns, including Biden's and those of candidates down the ballot. Biden's campaign said it brought in $3.8 million between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., a one-hour record for the website. Rufus Gifford, Biden's deputy campaign manager, tweeted that he had never received more "calls/texts/emails" from people looking to donate. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not immediately say how much had been raised on the GOP donation website, WinRed.


5. Judge grants Kentucky AG delay on releasing Breonna Taylor grand jury transcript

A judge on Wednesday granted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's request to delay the release of grand jury recordings in the Breonna Taylor case. The deadline had been set for noon on Wednesday, but Judge Ann Bailey Smith pushed it back to mid-day Friday. Elizabeth Kuhn, a spokeswoman for Cameron, confirmed that the extension had been granted "to give us proper time to redact specific personal information of witnesses" from the 20 hours of audio recording. A week ago, the grand jury indicted fired Louisville detective Brett Hankison on charges of wanton endangerment for firing shots that endangered people in a neighboring apartment, but the officers who raided Taylor's apartment were not charged over the five shots that killed Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician.

USA Today

6. Investigators arrest suspect in L.A. County police ambush

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Wednesday that authorities have arrested a suspect in connection to the ambush shooting of two sheriff's deputies earlier this month while they were sitting in their patrol car in Compton, California. Attempted murder charges were filed against 36-year-old Deonte Lee Murray, a Compton resident who was arrested two weeks ago and charged in connection with a separate carjacking. The department's Homicide Bureau Capt. Kent Wegener did not specify a suspected motive, but said Murray "obviously hates policemen." The officers who were shot survived after surgeries and are recovering.

Fox 11 Los Angeles The Associated Press

7. Comey defends Russia probe in Senate hearing

Former FBI Director James Comey defended his role in the early investigation of Russian election meddling and contacts between Russians and members of President Trump's 2016 campaign in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. Senate Republicans say the FBI inquiry, which was later taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was intended to undermine Trump. Democrats argue that GOP lawmakers are using their investigation to boost Trump's re-election chances while failing to address Moscow's attempts to influence this year's election. A Justice Department watchdog reported in December that there was evidence of FBI errors but not bias. Comey defended the FBI's decision to open the investigation, citing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's association with a man seen by U.S. security officials as a Russian agent.


8. Stocks post monthly loss for 1st time since March

U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday but finished down for September, the first monthly loss since March. Still, the month capped the second straight quarter of big gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1.2 percent on Wednesday. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up by 0.7 percent. Investor sentiment got a boost from better-than-expected private-sector jobs data, which rose by 749,000 in September, beating expectations of 600,000 more jobs. Stocks fell back from their session highs late in the day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fell short of reaching a deal on a new coronavirus relief package, although they plan to continue their talks on Thursday. Futures for the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were up by about 0.5 percent several hours before the opening bell on Thursday.

CNBC The Wall Street Journal

9. NFL postpones Titans-Steelers game after COVID-19 outbreak

The NFL on Wednesday postponed Sunday's game between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburg Steelers after Titans players and personnel tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The infections were reported Tuesday, and the professional football league announced Wednesday that the game would be pushed back to Monday or Tuesday. It was the first game of the season, now in its fourth week, to be postponed due to the pandemic. During the one- or two-day delay, the NFL will continue testing and contact tracing to make sure the infections aren't spreading. "This is not unexpected," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a memo announcing the news. "There will be players and staff who will test positive during the season."

Yahoo Sports

10. 1st patient cured of HIV dies of cancer at age 54

Timothy Ray Brown, the first person cured of HIV, has died of cancer at age 54. Brown in 2007 received an experimental bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia. The donor was naturally resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Thanks to the transplant, Brown developed immunity, too. "I quit taking my medication on the day that I got the transplant, after three months there was no HIV any more in my body," Brown told the BBC in 2012. But the leukemia came back earlier this year. "Timothy would like to be remembered as a man who gave hope to people around the world that a cure for HIV is possible," Brown's partner, Tim Hoeffgen, told The New York Times in an email.

BBC News The New York Times

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.