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10 things you need to know today: October 28, 2021

Iran negotiator says Tehran is returning to nuclear talks, the Astros beat the Braves to tie the World Series at 1-1, and more

1

Iran negotiator says Tehran returning to nuclear talks

Iran's new nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that the country would return to talks with the United States and other world powers in a bid to revive Tehran's landmark 2015 nuclear deal. He said the new discussions would start by the end of November. The news came after talks with European Union counterparts in Brussels. "Had a very serious & constructive dialogue with @enriquemora_ on the essential elements for successful negotiations. We agree to start negotiations before the end of November," he tweeted. Former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions against Iran. Western powers as well as Tehran-ally Russia have been pressuring Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, to return to the talks.

2

Astros beat Braves, tie World Series 1-1

The Houston Astros beat the Atlanta Braves 7-2 in Game 2 to even up the World Series at 1-1. The Astros jumped to an early lead, scoring five runs on Braves starter Max Fried in the first two innings. The game was tied 1-1 after the first inning, but the Astros exploded in the second with four runs fueled by four straight singles. Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the seventh with his 22nd career postseason home run, tying Bernie Williams for second on the all-time list, behind Manny Ramirez's 29. The win snapped a five-game World Series losing streak at the Astros' home field, Minute Maid Park. The last time they won a game in the Fall Classic at home was Game 5 in 2017, when Houston beat the Los Angeles Dodgers en route to the team's only championship.

3

Report: Democrats expected to cut paid family leave from bill

Democrats are likely to drop paid family and medical leave from their social safety net bill, several people familiar with the matter told NBC News and The Washington Post. The party needs every member of its caucus to pass the bill, and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has objected to guaranteed paid leave. Many Democratic lawmakers considered this a top priority, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said she would continue to push for paid leave in the Build Back Better plan "until the bill is printed." President Biden initially proposed the bill include 12 weeks, which was then cut down to four weeks amid early negotiations. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said "from the beginning, we have said the president was open to compromise."

4

Storm leaves 600,000 without power in Northeast

A powerful storm hammered the Northeast with heavy rains and hurricane-force winds, leaving more than 600,000 homes and businesses without power on Wednesday. The storm, categorized as a nor'easter, intensified rapidly to become a "bomb cyclone" as its central pressure dropped sharply in a process known as bombogenesis. Two similar storms brought record rains, high winds, and mudslides to Northern California days earlier. Remnants of those storms triggered tornadoes and other extreme weather in Missouri, contributing to the East Coast's severe storms. "Dangerous situation early this morning," the National Weather Service tweeted early in the day. "Winds gusting over Hurricane Force across southeast MA. Numerous downed trees and over 400K power outages in MA alone. TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED."

5

Biden administration announces strategy to curb drug overdoses

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Wednesday unveiled the Biden administration's four-part strategy to prevent drug addiction and overdoses. The plan calls for curbing inappropriate opioid prescriptions, expanding medication-based treatment, improving support for recovering addicts, and supporting harm-reduction efforts, such as distributing clean needles and test strips to check street drugs for fentanyl. "We're changing the way we do this," Becerra said. "We know what works. We've had years of evidence now." An estimated 840,000 people died of drug overdoses from 1999 to 2019, according to an HHS report released Wednesday. The estimated number of U.S. overdose deaths neared 100,000 per year.

6

Top general says China hypersonic missile test close to a 'Sputnik moment'

China's test of a hypersonic missile designed to be able to evade American nuclear defenses was alarming because it marked a technological leap the U.S. military didn't see coming, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday. "I don't know if it's quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it's very close to that," Milley said, referring to the fear inspired when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite. The comments marked the first official confirmation that the demonstration of the weapon's capabilities surprised American officials. China conducted two separate tests this summer in a way Beijing knew would be visible to U.S. satellites, although American officials said nothing before Milley discussed the test in a Bloomberg Television interview.

7

'Journal' criticized over Trump letter repeating false election claims

The Wall Street Journal faced a backlash from voting rights advocates, political analysts, and journalists, including some of the Journal's own reporters, for printing a letter to the editor from former President Donald Trump repeating debunked claims that the presidential election he lost to President Biden as "rigged." Trump wrote the letter in response to an editorial about Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court, in which the Journal's conservative editorial board noted, factually, that Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020 by 80,555 ballots. Trump replied: "Well, actually, the election was rigged, which you, unfortunately, still haven't figured out." He then went on to repeat numerous false claims about the vote in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Inquirer national political writer Jonathan Tamari tweeted that Trump's letter was "full of absolute lies." 

8

Ex-'Times' columnist Nicholas Kristof launches run for Oregon governor

Former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof announced Wednesday that he is running for the Democratic nomination for governor of Oregon, saying it is "time to do something about a system that's rigged against so many Oregonians." Kristof, 62, said he aimed to address social issues, including homelessness, poverty, drug addiction, and inadequate education. Kristof worked at the Times for 37 years and retired this month. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movement in China, and the other for his 2006 coverage of the Darfur genocide. "I have spent a lifetime shining a light on the darkest corners of the globe and it broke my heart when I returned from crisis abroad only to find crisis here at home," said Kristof, a first-time candidate joining a field of 10 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

9

FDA orders more warnings to patients on breast-implant risks

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced new safety requirements for breast implants. The new FDA order requires manufacturers and cosmetic surgeons to warn patients about possible complications. The FDA will mandate warning labels on the boxes informing patients of the risk of rupture, systemic illnesses, and a type of cancer. "This is a big step," said Dr. Binita Ashar, director of the Office of Surgical and Infection Control Devices in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "We are committed to ensure the safety of these products." The rules came after tens of thousands of women for years complained that after receiving breast implants they experienced brain fog, fatigue, and other health problems known collectively as "breast implant illness."

10

Investigators say lead bullet killed cinematographer

Investigators have determined that a lead bullet — fired from a prop gun by actor Alec Baldwin — killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the movie Rust. The bullet was one of about 500 rounds of blanks, dummy rounds, and live ammunition found on the set of the Western, Santa Fe County authorities said. Baldwin, who is also a producer on the film, shot Hutchins while rehearsing a scene in which he draws the weapon, a vintage Colt .45 revolver. The only other people known to have handled the gun were production armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed and first assistant director Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the weapon and said it was "cold," or unloaded. He told police that he had checked some but not all of the pistol's chambers to make sure there were no bullets in it. 

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