Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina ‘moving in wrong direction’ as COVID cases surge
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina has recorded its highest single-day COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began. The state’s top public health official on Thursday warned that trends are sliding in the wrong direction and high-risk activities may have to be rolled back. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll reevaluate his Phase 3 reopening guidelines next week. Health officials have warned against large indoor gatherings of unmasked people. COVID-related hospitalizations have increased along with the percentage of tests that are coming back positive. Officials say half of people called for contact tracing purposes are not responding.
Biden campaign flips COVID-19 threat into new Trump contrast
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – Joe Biden’s presidential campaign turned its first known coronavirus scare into another contrast with President Donald Trump. The Democratic campaign announced Thursday that three people in its orbit had tested positive for the coronavirus, including a top aide to Kamala Harris. The campaign said that out of an abundance of caution, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, would suspend travel temporarily. The campaign also released medical experts’ explanations of why they believed Biden was never exposed and wouldn’t have to cancel upcoming travel. The disclosure came in the closing weeks of a general election battle dominated by how the Republican incumbent has handled the pandemic and his own COVID-19 diagnosis.
Trump, Biden go at it – from a distance – in town halls
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden squared off, in a way, Thursday night, their scuttled second debate replaced by dueling televised town halls. Their events showcased striking differences in temperament, views on racial justice and approaches to the pandemic that has reshaped the nation. Trump was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, and evasive when pressed about whether he took a required COVID-19 test before his first debate with Biden. Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group, and only testily did so regarding white supremacists. Biden, for his part, gave answers that were long and sometimes vague.
The Latest: Trump raises $247.8M in Sept., far behind Biden
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans raised $247.8 million in September – better than the month before, but still lagging far behind his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who raised $383 million over the same stretch. Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and its joint fundraising committees finished the month with $251.4 million cash on hand – dramatically less than the $432 million Biden reported having in the bank just weeks before the Nov. 3 election. Trump and Republicans jointly raised $210 million in August, a robust sum dwarfed by the record $364.5 million raised by Democrats and Biden.
Black scholars form effort to fight trolls, disinformation
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) – A group of U.S. Black scholars, activists and writers has launched a new project to combat misleading information online around voting, reparations and immigration. The recently launched National Black Cultural Information Trust seeks to counter fake social media accounts and Twitter trolls who often discourage Black voters from participating in elections. Project founder Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor says some dubious accounts behind the social media American Descendants of Slavery movement tell Black voters to skip the presidential election. She says some accounts also use the movement’s ADOS hashtag to flame divisions between African Americans and Black immigrants.
TV gives viewers a split-screen comparison of Trump, Biden
NEW YORK (AP) – Instead of the expected debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, television viewers were left Thursday with what ABC’s David Muir called “split-screen America.” Biden participated in a 90-minute town hall from Philadelphia on ABC, while NBC News went ahead with its hourlong Trump session in Miami, despite criticism that the network was forcing viewers to choose. Trump faced a crackling round of questioning from Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show, who pressed him on his personal experience with COVID-19, his finances and his support of conspiracy theories. Biden’s session with George Stephanopoulos of “Good Morning America” was a more sedate affair.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-VOTING
Long lines form as North Carolina begins early voting
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Long lines have formed at polling places across North Carolina as the battleground state kicked off early voting. Early voting locations opened Thursday morning in all 100 counties. More than 500,000 people have already cast mail-in absentee ballots amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A Durham County government tracking tool measured the average wait time as more than an hour across 14 polling places in the Democratic-leaning area. Several reported two- and three-hour waits. The in-person early voting option continues until Oct. 31 and allows someone to vote at any voting center in their county of residence.
ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOTS
Trump, GOP leaders will appeal North Carolina ballot ruling
President Donald Trump’s campaign says it will ask a federal appeals court to force North Carolina to revert to stricter absentee ballot rules. The plaintiffs including the state and national GOP said in court documents that they will file an emergency appeal asking the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene after a federal judge issued a mixed ruling on the mail-in ballots Wednesday. Federal Judge William Osteen blocked a procedure by which North Carolina absentee voters could fix ballots missing a witness signature by returning a signed affidavit and not starting the ballot over from scratch.