Kristen Welker to Moderate Final Presidential Debate & Global News

by Debra Brown

Kristen Welker

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


Kristen Welker to Moderate Final Presidential Debate

Kristen Welker, a co-anchor on NBC’s Weekend Today will be the first Black woman since Carole Simpson in 1992 to moderate a debate alone. This is not her first time moderating a debate. She teamed up with her NBC colleagues Andrea Mitchell, Rachel Maddow and Ashley Parker to ask questions to the field of candidates in the 2019 Democratic primary.

She has made a name for herself through decades of hard work at NBC and for her tough questions during White House press briefings over the past four years. She spent years covering multiple administrations, including that of former President Barack Obama, and was named a co-host of NBC’s Weekend Today in January.

Welker has won multiple awards for her work in broadcast journalism, including the Outstanding Journalism in Broadcast Television award this year.

Welker announced last week that the topics she has chosen to discuss during the debate will include COVID-19, American Families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership. 

After multiple interruptions during the last presidential debate, the debate commission announced a new rule that each of the candidates would have two minutes of uninterrupted speaking time at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate, a provision that was agreed upon by both candidates. To enforce it, the commission will mute each candidate’s mic while the other is speaking for two minutes at the beginning of each segment, so that Mr. Trump and Biden each have uninterrupted time to answer. After two minutes, both mics will be turned on for open discussion. 

Trump and Biden are scheduled to appear on the debate stage for a second and final time October 22nd in Nashville, Tennessee, at 9 p.m. ET.


Bolivia’s Socialists Proclaim Election Victory

Socialists in Bolivia are celebrating a historic victory after Luis Arce, a candidate handpicked by their ousted leader, Evo Morales, secured over 50% of the vote, according to exit polls.

Morales, banned from running this time, watched from Argentina as his former finance minister, front-runner Luis Arce, 57, faced two main competitors who sought to stop a socialist comeback: centrist former president Carlos Mesa, 67, and right-wing nationalist Luis Camacho, 41.

The victory paves the way for five more years of leftwing rule and raising the prospect that Mr. Morales will return from exile in Argentina. Morales went into exile as opponents alleged electoral fraud and supporters decried a “coup.”

The election followed the resignation last year of Morales, Bolivia’s first Indigenous president, after nearly 14 years in office. He left under pressure from Bolivia’s military after seeking a fourth term in an election later annulled following fraud allegations.

The British-educated Arce, 57, served two terms as Bolivia’s economy minister. He presided over a nationalization program and commodities boom that helped provide funds to lift millions of Indigenous Bolivians out of poverty and delivered a period of sustained growth.


Kentucky Judge Orders Grand Jury Records Unsealed in Breonna Taylor Case

A Kentucky judge ordered grand jury records from the Breonna Taylor probe to be released, citing the need to show if “publicly elected officials are being honest.”

A member of the grand jury sought that records be released about the panel’s work be released. The ruling by Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell now allows grand jurors to speak publicly and answer any questions about the case.

The unusual decision — grand juries are intended to be secret, with some exceptions — could shed further light on a case that has led to protests across the country and exemplified the ways that the “war on drugs” disproportionately hurts Black Americans.

The anonymous grand juror has suggested that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron may have misrepresented to the public the case presented to the panel, according the juror’s attorney.

Cameron’s office argued that allowing the grand juror to speak may compromise the right to a fair trial of the one officer who was charged in connection with the incident, Brett Hankison.

Hankison was charged with three counts of felony wanton endangerment but none of the officers involved in the raid were directly charged with Taylor’s death. Hankison has pleaded not guilty to those charges. No other officers were charged.

The 26-year-old Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who broke down her apartment door during a botched drug raid.


Ireland Is First EU Country to Return to Coronavirus Lockdown

Ireland will be the first EU country to return to coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said, issuing a nationwide “stay at home” order but insisting schools will stay open. Measures coming into effect for six weeks and will see all non-essential retail businesses close and bars and restaurants limited to takeaway or delivery service only.

Only essential workers will be “permitted to travel to work,” he said, and citizens will be allowed out to exercise only within three miles of their residence.

A “social bubble” program will allow those living alone, at risk of social isolation or mental health issues, to mingle with one other household.


US to Remove Sudan from State Sponsors of Terrorism list

President Donald Trump has announced via twitter that the United States will remove Sudan from its State Sponsors of Terrorism list after the government in Khartoum paid compensation to victims of attacks.

The removal from the list has been a top priority for Sudan’s transitional government which has been in power since August last year following the military removal of longtime President Omar al-Bashir in the face of months-long protests against his rule.

The US government added Sudan to its list of state sponsors of “terrorism” in 1993 over allegations that al-Bashir’s government was supporting “terrorist” groups. The designation makes Sudan technically ineligible for debt relief and urgently needed financing from major international institutions.

The US Congress would need to approve the removal after being formally notified by the president.

The deal could also set in motion steps by Sudan toward establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, a US official told Reuters, following similar US-brokered moves in recent weeks by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

Sudan had insisted that any announcement of Khartoum’s de-listing not be explicitly linked to normalisation with Israel.


24-Hour Curfew in Lagos Amid Police Brutality Protests in Nigeria

The governor of Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos imposed a state-wide curfew in response to growing protests over police brutality in the country.

Demonstrators have taken part in daily protests across the country for nearly two weeks over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a police unit know as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Only essential service providers and first responders will be allowed on the streets of Lagos, which has an estimated population of more than 20 million people.

SARS was disbanded on October 11 and a new police unit to replace it will be trained by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Reuters reported.

Amnesty International said in a tweet that peaceful protestors are being attacked across Nigeria. The current death toll is not known, but death and severe injuries have been reported since the weekend.


Related All The Pretty Birds Culture and News Posts:

Nigeria to End Sars Police Unit for Police Brutality

Breonna Taylor’s Family Receives Large Settlement

Jeanine Áñez Declares Herself Interim President

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