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10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2021

Biden says nuclear talks to resume with Iran, the G-20 shifts focus to climate change, and more


Biden says nuclear talks to resume with Iran

President Biden said Saturday that nuclear talks would resume between world leaders and Iran. He and the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain warned after meeting to discuss strategy that Tehran was accelerating "provocative nuclear steps." The U.S. and its key European allies are working to revive the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, although no date has been set for talks. Iran halted compliance after former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. and reimposed sanctions. In a joint statement following their meeting while they are in Rome for the Group of 20 summit, Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said they "expressed our determination to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a nuclear weapon."


G-20 shifts focus to climate change on 2nd day

Group of 20 leaders shifted their focus to climate change on Sunday in the second day of their two-day summit, after endorsing a 15 percent global minimum corporate tax at the beginning of the Rome meeting. Thousands of protesters called for stronger government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told fellow leaders "the fight against climate change is the defining challenge of our times." He said it was crucial to aim for the limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the low end of the target range set in the Paris Agreement of 2015. Britain's Prince Charles told leaders they had an "overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn" to do more to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change.


Trump tries to shield call logs and memos from Jan. 6 investigators

Former President Donald Trump's lawyers are trying to stop lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack from obtaining daily presidential diaries, speech drafts, phone logs, and aides' notes, the National Archives said in a Saturday court filing. Among the documents Trump wants to block are hundreds of pages of former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's documents, consisting "almost entirely of talking points and statements related to the 2020 election," according to the court filing. The National Archives filing amounted to confirmation that Trump is trying to withhold information on his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Biden, as well as his activities on the day a mob of his supporters forced their way into the Capitol in a failed attempt to prevent lawmakers from certifying the election result.


Greta Thunberg energizes climate activists at start of COP26

Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg was mobbed by supporters as she arrived in Glasgow on Sunday, the official opening day of the United Nations COP26 climate summit. Thunberg arrived by train from London, where she participated in a protest urging banks to stop funding fossil-fuel extraction. Thousands of activists are gathering in Glasgow to demand that leaders step up their nations' commitments to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. COP26 President Alok Sharma urged the 196 world leaders and 20,000 delegates coming for the conference to "leave the ghosts of the past behind" and "focus on the future and unite around this one issue we know that matters for all of us, which is protecting our precious planet."


Sudan police use tear gas and gunfire to disperse protesters

Security forces shot and killed three people in Sudan during Saturday protests against a military coup, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said. Another 38 people were injured, some of them by gunfire, during the protest in the capital city Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. In Khartoum, people in a huge crowd of demonstrators were setting up a stage and discussing holding a sit-in when security forces dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gunfire. Sudanese police denied firing on the crowds during nationwide protests, and said a police officer was wounded by gunfire. The Saturday protests were the biggest yet since the military, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and members of his cabinet.


University of Florida orders professors not to testify against voting restrictions

The University of Florida said Saturday it is barring three professors from providing expert testimony in a lawsuit that says a new state law restricts voting rights. The university said in a statement that testimony by professors Dan Smith, Michael McDonald, and Sharon Austin as paid experts for the plaintiffs would be "adverse to the university's interests as a state of Florida institution." Lawyers for the coalition of civics groups challenging the law said in court papers that the university told the professors their testimony would create a conflict for the school because it would clash with the position of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration. Critics of the Florida law, which reduces drop-box and mail-in voting, say it discriminates against voters of color in violation of the Voting Rights Act.


U.S., E.U. reach deal easing steel, aluminum tariffs

The United States and the European Union on Saturday announced a deal to ease some tariffs on steel and aluminum that were imposed by former President Donald Trump. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Saturday that the tariffs would remain in place, but the Biden administration will let limited European products into the U.S. tariff-free. In return, the E.U. will drop retaliatory tariffs in return. "We fully expect this agreement will provide relief in the supply chain and drive down cost increases," Raimondo said. European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis tweeted confirmation of the agreement, which came during the two-day Group of 20 summit in Italy. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the deal removes "one of the largest bilateral irritants in the U.S.-E.U. relationship."


Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial starts in Kenosha 

Illinois teen Kyle Rittenhouse goes on trial Monday for the 2020 fatal shooting of two people during a protest over the shooting of a Black man by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, then 17, went to Kenosha to join a group of people who said they were helping keep order. Rittenhouse, carrying a military-style semiautomatic rifle, clashed with protesters. He shot and killed two men, and wounded a third. Rittenhouse's supporters say he was defending himself while taking a stand for law and order. Civil rights activists call him a violent, reckless intruder who targeted people participating in a meaningful protest. The judge made news in pretrial hearings last week when he said prosecutors couldn't call the people Rittenhouse shot "victims," but defense lawyers could call them rioters.


Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Tina Turner inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 

Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, and Tina Turner were among the stars inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday. The 2021 class also included Carole King, The Go-Gos, Todd Rundgren, and others. Jay-Z, the self-proclaimed "greatest rapper alive," also is a Grammy winner and a billionaire business mogul. His work includes 14 No. 1 albums and well-known songs that often describe the struggles of Black people in America. His hits include "Hard Knock Life" and "Empire State of Mind." "He rhymed a recipe for survival," comedian Dave Chappelle said of Jay-Z. "He embodies what the potential of our lives can be and what success can be." Tina Turner, 81, lives in Switzerland and didn't attend. "If they're still giving me awards at 81," she said in a video message, "I must have done something right."


Braves beat Astros to take 3-1 World Series lead

The Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 3-2 in Game 4 of the World Series. The Braves lead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, putting them one win away from their first Series title since 1995. Relief pitcher Kyle Wright got Atlanta out of an early jam, taking over with bases loaded in the first inning and ending the inning with just one Astros run. Dansby Swanson and pinch-hitter Jorge Soler gave the Braves the winning runs with back-to-back homers in the seventh inning. The Braves have a chance to take the championship on their home field in Game 5 Sunday night. Atlanta is 7-0 at home this postseason. "It's just such a cool moment for this city," Swanson said. "But we've got one more." 


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