Photo: Some people lined up for hours to vote early over the weekend. Photo from The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/24/nyregion/new-york-early-voting.html.
- So far almost 60 million Americans have voted early in the 2020 presidential election, breaking a 110+ year record. “Not since 1908 have more than 65% of eligible US voters actually exercised that right.” This is likely explained both by the dire circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and by intensified polarization along party lines, with President Trump’s supporters more motivated to show support as he faces a strong challenge from former Vice President Biden. That said, some typically solid red or blue states may become battlegrounds this year. Texas, for example, tends to lean Republican, but this year “polls are unusually close” as Texas suffered 17,000 COVID-19 deaths and its state government faces criticism for alleged voter suppression.
- Leopoldo López, a Venezuelan opposition politician who gained notoriety for leading protests against President Nicolás Maduro in 2014, fled Venezuela for Spain, arriving in Madrid to reunite with his wife and daughter, according to a statement from the Spanish foreign ministry. A former mayor, López “served several years in prison” for his role in the anti-Maduro protests “before being released to house arrest” and “shelter[ing]at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas” for the past 18 months. This development signals “a blow to an already weakened opposition,” led by National Assembly Head Juan Guaidó, whom “the U.S. and many other countries” recognize as “the country’s legitimate president.”
- The United Nations first officially came into existence 75 years ago this past Saturday, when its charter was “ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, [and]the United States,” and thus began its authority. In commemoration of this anniversary, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his urge for a global ceasefire and world leaders will hold a ceremony at the General Assembly “reaffirming [their]collective commitment to multilateralism,” building on agreements reached at a meeting held last month.
- Join the Brookings Institute for its online-only webinar “Election 2020: Digital democracy, disinformation, and Black voters” on Wednesday, October 28 at 3:00 P.M. (EDT) to learn about “how misinformation is disseminated, what campaigns and elected officials can do to support targeted groups, and why marginalized communities and their rights should be prioritized when developing new rules for communication technology used in political and governance processes.”
- Artechouse, an art museum in Chelsea, recently opened a multimedia exhibit titled “Celestial,” which will run until January 3. Dedicated to Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, “Classic Blue,” it aims to take visitors on a “journey beyond the skies…through sights, sounds, and sensations.”
- Daylight Savings Time ends this coming Sunday, November 1, so take advantage of it and try to get an extra hour of sleep 😉
In your free time:
Is your bank account dried up thanks to all those Seamless orders? If you’re looking for a new hobby to pick up in quarantine and save a few bucks while you’re at it, try binging Binging with Babish episodes on Youtube. Low-key a stand-up comedian and high-key a talented chef, Andrew Rea (AKA Babish) will teach you all the culinary basics so that you can be rolling out your own pizza dough and frying your own potato breakfast hash in no time.
This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Elisa Ron and Emmy Freedman.