March 23, 2020

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill on Monday abolishing the death penalty. Colorado is the 22nd state to ban capital punishment since it was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976.

Polis also commuted three death sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole, saying the "commutations of these despicable and guilty individuals are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the state of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the state of Colorado."

Polis stated that he commuted the sentences "after a thorough outreach process to the victims and their families," and while he understands "some victims agree with my decision and others disagree, I hope this decision provides clarity and certainty for them moving forward." The state's last execution was in 1997, NBC News reports. Catherine Garcia

2:18 a.m.

The Wall Street Journal published a short article Thursday night on Hunter Biden's business dealings that concluded: "Corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden." The same night, the Journal published an opinion piece that asserted the Democratic presidential nominee had been aware of and/or involved in his son's business endeavors, about 24 hours after Breitbart News published a statement from a former Hunter Biden business partner, Tony Bobulinksi.

That wasn't how President Trump's allies had wanted this to go, Ben Smith reports in The New York Times.

In early October, three men allied with Trump — Arthur Schwartz, a public relations man close to Donald Trump Jr.; former deputy White House Counsel Stefan Passantino; and Eric Herschmann, a White House lawyer currently on the public payroll as "senior adviser to the president" — met in a McLean, Virginia, house and pitched the Hunter Biden story to Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender, Smith reports, citing two people familiar with the meeting. Bobulinksi called in and offered to go on the record.

The trio gave Bender a cache of Hunter Biden emails and ended the meeting "believing that the Journal would blow the thing open, and their excitement was conveyed to the president," who said on an Oct. 19 conference call that an "important piece" was coming in the Journal, Smith reports. The Journal had assigned a group of reporters to dig in to the allegations, and Trump and his allies expected their article to appear in the Journal that day, former Trump campaign chairman Stephen Bannon told Smith.

"The editors didn't like Trump's insinuation that we were being teed up to do this hit job," a Journal reporter not directly involved in the story told Smith. But the Journal continued working on the report. But by that point, things had already gotten "messy," Smith reports. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's political operative, had "delivered a cache of documents of questionable provenance — but containing some of the same emails — to the New York Post, a sister publication to the Journal in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.," casting "a pall over the story."

Smith, a media reporter, splits his weekly column between a report on "the McLean group's failed attempt to sway the election" and an analysis of the media's gatekeeper role. Read the entire column at The New York Times. Peter Weber

1:58 a.m.

While exploring Horseshoe Canyon in Alberta this summer, Nathan Hrushkin, 12, made a discovery that thrilled the aspiring paleontologist: he found the bones of a 69-million-year-old dinosaur.

Nathan was hiking through the area with his dad, Dion, when he came across the bones. They took several photos and sent them to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, which dispatched a team to look for more fossils. Between 30 and 50 bones were found, including a partial skull, and the experts determined they all belonged to the same hadrosaur, which was about three or four years old.

Francois Therrien, curator of dinosaur paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, said in a statement that this "young hadrosaur is a very important discovery because it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in Alberta. Nathan and Dion's find will help us fill this big gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution."

Nathan says the hadrosaur is now his favorite dinosaur, and his discovery has made him even more curious about what could be hiding in the dirt. "I am fascinated about how bones from creatures that lived tens of millions of years ago became these fossil rocks, which are just sitting on the ground waiting to be found," he told People. Catherine Garcia

1:07 a.m.

A strengthening Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to become a hurricane on Monday, forecasters said Sunday night, and could hit the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or western Cuba by late Monday or early Tuesday before heading toward the Gulf Coast.

Late Sunday night, Zeta was 260 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and is essentially at a standstill, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Zeta is stuck in the western Caribbean between high pressure systems to the east and west, and "just has to sit and wait for a day or so," University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told The Associated Press. "It just needs anything to move."

Zeta could reach the central Gulf Coast by Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, making landfall anywhere from Louisiana to Florida's Panhandle. Zeta is the earliest named 27th Atlantic storm in recorded history. Catherine Garcia

12:17 a.m.

When President Trump released raw footage of his interview with 60 Minutes on Friday, CBS said it would not "not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair, and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades." And it didn't. Sunday's 60 Minutes included interviews with Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and their running mates, Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

The White House interview with Trump "began politely, but ended regrettably, contentiously," 60 Minutes said, showing the moment Trump walked out of the interview early. Leading into the scene, Trump had been trying to convince Lesley Stahl, unsuccessfully, that Biden and President Barack Obama had spied on his 2016 campaign.

60 Minutes also showed what happened right after Trump walked off — that was when Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany brought in Trump's "health care plan."

The context for that was Trump promising that his "fully developed" health care plan would finally be released if the Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act, something Trump told Stahl he hoped will happen.

Trump's main complaint to Stahl was that 60 Minutes didn't ask Biden the same kind of "tough" questions he got. Here's Biden answering Kelly O'Donnell's question on the economy and taxes, Trump's strongest issue.

And here's how Trump answers Stahl's question on managing the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden's strongest topic.

You can watch the full Trump and Biden interviews at 60 Minutes. Peter Weber

12:07 a.m.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were victorious on Sunday night in Game 5 of the World Series, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2. They now lead the series 3-2, and if the Dodgers win Game 6 on Tuesday night, they will earn their first World Series title since 1988.

The team had an early lead, thanks to Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger scoring singles in the first inning and Joc Pederson following up with a home run in the second inning. The Rays came back with Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena scoring two runs in the third, but Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, giving the Dodgers a two-run lead.

Game 6 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, is set for Tuesday at 8:08 p.m. ET. Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

For the first time in 100 years, the New Hampshire Union Leader has endorsed a Democrat for president.

In a editorial published Sunday, the conservative-leaning paper's editorial board said it has "significant" policy disagreements with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and while he "may not be the president we want," in 2020 he is "the president we desperately need. He will be a president to bring people together and right the ship of state."

Biden is a "caring, compassionate, and professional public servant," the editorial board said. "He has repeatedly expressed his desire to be a president for all of America, and we take him at his word." President Trump, they wrote, is "not always 100 percent wrong, but he is 100 percent wrong for America."

Trump didn't receive the newspaper's 2016 endorsement, either. That year, the editorial board picked Libertarian Gary Johnson, breaking its 100-year tradition of selecting Republicans, CNN reports. During the Republican primaries, the newspaper endorsed then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), which caused Trump to call publisher Joseph McQuaid a "lowlife" and "bad guy." Catherine Garcia

October 25, 2020

In less than a month, there has been a 200 percent rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in El Paso, Texas, and on Sunday, city officials urged residents to stay home for the next two weeks.

More than 680,000 people live in El Paso, and Angela Mora, the city's director of public health, said that over the last three weeks, the number of hospitalizations has increased from 259 to 786. On Sunday, more than 500 new COVID-19 cases were reported in El Paso.

"If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire health care system," Mora said in a statement. "For the sake of those hospitalized and the front line health care workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve."

The public health department also said people who ignore new local health orders making masks and social distancing mandatory will be fined, NBC News reports. This week, the city's convention center will be transformed into a field hospital. Catherine Garcia

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