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Tribune News Service

International Budget for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Saturday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Azerbaijan, Armenia agree to ceasefire starting at midnight

ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN-1ST-LEDE:BLO — Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to a "temporary humanitarian ceasefire" that will take effect at midnight, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said in an email.

The agreement is to allow for the exchange of prisoners and recover the remains of soldiers killed during the fighting that erupted on Sept. 27.

The move is set to put a pause on a conflict where at least 13 people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in a missile attack on Azerbaijan's second-largest city of Ganca overnight.

200 by Zulfugar Agayev. MOVED


^NATO calls any Turkish test of Russian-made S-400 'regrettable'

NATO-TURKEY:BLO — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization criticized a possible test by Turkey of its Russian-made S-400 missile launcher and stepped up calls on Ankara to opt for a different defense system.

"Any test of the S-400 air defense system by Turkey, if confirmed, would be regrettable," NATO said in an emailed statement on Saturday. "It is important Turkey continues to work with other allies to find alternative solutions."

300 by Jonathan Stearns. MOVED


^New Zealand election brings curtain down on Winston Peters' colorful career

NEWZEALAND:BLO — New Zealand's election has probably brought an end to the four-decade political career of Winston Peters, the maverick lawmaker who has held a string of high offices including deputy prime minister in Jacinda Ardern's first government.

With 90% of votes counted, the New Zealand First Party that Peters leads had just 2.6% of the vote, less than the 5% it needs to be returned to parliament. At 75, Peters is unlikely to make another of his fabled political comebacks, while the future of his party is uncertain.

350 by Ainsley Thomson. MOVED


^French prosecutors: Decapitated teacher was targeted over Mohammed images

FRANCE-TEACHER-BEHEADED-1ST-LEDE:DPA — French prosecutors on Saturday revealed more details about the brutal murder and decapitation of a 47-year-old history teacher in suburban Paris in what is a suspected Islamist extremist attack.

The alleged perpetrator, who was killed by police shortly after the crime, was born in Moscow in 2002 and was of Russian and Chechen origin. France granted him refugee status earlier this year, prosecutor Jean-Francois Richard told a press conference.

600 by Julia Naue in Paris. MOVED


^He was Mexico's defense chief. The US days he's a drug dealer

USMEXICO-EXOFFICIAL:BLO — From the outside, General Salvador Cienfuegos, with his stern visage, ramrod salute and beribboned chest, presented the image of a front-line warrior against drug traffickers.

As Mexico's defense chief from 2012 to 2018, he directed his forces to brutally corner cartel chiefs and stealthily move patrol vehicles in pursuit of heroin shipments. Under his watch, Mexican marines arrested infamous kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman twice in two years.

1100 by Max De Haldevang in Mexico City. MOVED


^Iran, Ukraine to discuss compensation for passenger plane shoot-down

IRAN-PLANECRASH:DPA — Iran said on Saturday that it would enter into talks with Ukraine next week over compensation for the accidental shoot-down of a passenger plane in January, resulting in 176 deaths.

Talks are to begin on Monday, when experts will first investigate the technical and legal details of the incident, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharwand told the ISNA news agency.

250 by dpa staff in Tehran, Iran. MOVED


^A royal bubble bursts: Thailand's king faces trouble on 2 continents

THAILAND-KING-GERMANY:LA — The scion of one of the world's most privileged families, he wrapped himself in the trappings of royalty, wealth and a comfortable hideaway thousands of miles from his subjects.

For Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the cocoon has come undone with remarkable speed.

Last week in Berlin, the German government faced questions in Parliament over the king's legal status in Bavaria, where he resides. Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said that if the king were making decisions affecting Thailand from German soil, "We would quite clearly not stand for that."

1350 by Shashank Bengali and Erik Kirschbaum in Singapore. MOVED


^Moody's downgrades Britain's credit rating amid Brexit, pandemic

BRITAIN-CREDIT-RATING:DPA — U.S. rating agency Moody's has downgraded Britain's credit rating by one notch, citing the impacts of the country's exit from the European Union as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

Moody's now ranks Britain's long-term debt as Aa3 rather than Aa2, though it has also upgraded the outlook for this rating from "negative" to "stable," the agency announced in Paris late on Friday.

300 by Marco Engemann in Paris. MOVED


^China warns it may detain US citizens over scholar probes: WSJ

USCHINA-ACADEMICS-PROBES:BLO — Chinese officials warned their U.S. counterparts as early as the summer that they may detain Americans in China if the U.S. doesn't stop prosecuting Chinese academics, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

China sent repeated warnings through multiple channels, including the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the report said.

The U.S. charged several Chinese scientists who were conducting research at U.S. universities with concealing ties to the Chinese military. The prosecutions have become a flash point of tension between the U.S. and China, which have since closed each other's diplomatic missions in Houston and Chengdu.

200 by Yueqi Yang in New York. MOVED


^'He makes it into a joke': For Philly COVID-19 patients, Trump's cavalier attitude stings

CORONAVIRUS-PATIENTS-TRUMP:PH — When President Donald Trump talks about his bout with coronavirus — and urges Americans to not let the pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 "dominate their lives" — Jesus Ortiz can hardly bring himself to listen.

Ortiz, 58, was diagnosed in May with COVID-19, and his experience couldn't have been more different from the president's.

1100 (with trims) by Aubrey Whelan in Philadelphia. MOVED


^NY's Cuomo opens movie theaters as coronavirus hot spots cool off but cancels a Brooklyn wedding with 10,000 guests

CORONAVIRUS-NY:NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for movie theaters to open outside of New York City on Saturday as he all but declared victory over the coronavirus hot spots that had threatened to spread into a wider flare up.

Cinemas will be permitted to open on Oct. 23 in counties outside the five boroughs that have an overall COVID-19 positivity rate of less than 2% and that have no significant hot spots, Cuomo said at a midtown press conference.

400 by Ellen Moynihan and Dave Goldiner in New York. MOVED


^Pfizer says coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until Thanksgiving — at the earliest


CEO Albert Bourla in an open letter published Friday revealed that while scientists are working quickly to develop a vaccine, that it would not be ready by Election Day — a claim that has been repeatedly made by President Donald Trump. He added that the earliest the company would seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration would be the third week of November.

Pfizer expects to have preliminary numbers by the end of October regarding whether the vaccine works, but it would still need to collect safety and manufacturing data. The CEO also emphasized all three aspects — safety, efficacy and manufacturing quality data — would prove key in ensuring the treatment's success.

300 by Jessica Schladebeck. MOVED


^Connecticut now will qualify for its own travel advisory after seeing largest number of new cases since May 1

CORONAVIRUS-CONN:HC — After reporting its largest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day since early May, Connecticut appears to have crossed the threshold at which it will qualify for its own travel advisory next week.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday reported 802 positive results out of 33,048 coronavirus tests, for a rate of 2.4% The state has now recorded a positivity rate of 1.7% over the past week, higher than any previous seven-day stretch since mid-June.

400 by Alex Putterman in Hartford, Conn. MOVED



^Democratic donors fuel record-breaking fundraising in Senate races

SENATE-DEMOCRATS-FUNDRAISING:LA — Democrats have a new dilemma as Election Day approaches: They are running out of places to spend their mountains of cash.

Fundraising for the party's Senate candidates — even some in GOP strongholds — has so exceeded expectations that party operatives are rushing to rewrite their budgets and expand their reach.

In some cases, the candidates entered their campaigns as major underdogs. Now, Republicans are scrambling to keep up.

1200 (with trims) by Seema Mehta and Evan Halper. MOVED


^Trump returns to Wisconsin for large campaign rally as coronavirus cases hit record levels

CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-WISCONSIN:TB — Just five days removed from his White House coronavirus quarantine, President Donald Trump is set to visit Wisconsin this weekend as the state suffers from a record-high surge in coronavirus cases.

Trump originally had planned to hold the Janesville rally two weeks ago, but instead spent the day hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center infected with COVID-19.

Two weeks later, Trump will finally arrive in Wisconsin with polls showing the president falling further behind in the state, trailing by as many as 10 points since his diagnosis stunned the nation.

2000 (with trims) by Bill Ruthhart in Janesville, Wis. MOVED


^Women's March of 2020 shows opposition to Barrett nomination, promotes anti-Trump voting

WOMENS-MARCH:NY — Thousands of women across the U.S. marched in protest against the White House, rousted into action Saturday by President Donald Trump's choice of a conservative candidate to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Marches also were held in Washington, D.C., and dozens of satellite sites across the nation. The typically massive marches, launched after Trump's 2017 inauguration, saw the ranks limited this time by the COVID-19 pandemic.

550 by Ellen Moynihan and Larry McShane in New York. MOVED


^US meets with Lebanon security head to resolve Israel dispute

US-LEBANON:BLO — Lebanon's security chief held talks with top administration officials in Washington this week as the U.S. seeks to resolve that country's energy dispute with Israel and free an American journalist kidnapped in Syria, according to people familiar with the matter.

Abbas Ibrahim, the influential head of Lebanon's General Security agency, spoke with Robert O'Brien, President Donald Trump's national security adviser, at a dinner on Friday night, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private meetings.

300 by Jennifer Jacobs in Washington. MOVED


^Trump lashes back at Nebraska senator in a sign of GOP fissures

TRUMP-SENATOR-CRITICISM:NY — President Donald Trump is back to hurling insults at the people who are supposed to be his allies as the campaign heads into the home stretch.

Trump trashed Sen. Ben Sasse Saturday as "rather stupid and obnoxious" after the Nebraska Republican slammed the president for botching the national response to coronavirus and "kissing dictators' butts."

350 by Dave Goldiner. MOVED


^Immigrants can still get their US work visas expedited, but it will cost a lot more

WORK-VISAS-COST:MI — U.S. immigration authorities announced on Friday that, effective Monday, they will increase the fee for priority processing of work visa applications, a special process that allows expediting the case's adjudication for an additional, hefty cost.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows U.S. employers or foreign applicants to pay a $1,440 fee for premium processing, in addition to other fees required for the type of forms submitted.

This fee, which is attached to Form I-907, will increase to $2,500, the immigration agency said in a news release.

150 by Daniel Shoer Roth. MOVED


^Pence rallies Trump supporters: 'The road to victory runs right through Pennsylvania'

CAMPAIGN-PENCE-PA:PH — Vice President Mike Pence returned to the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania on Saturday, declaring President Donald Trump a champion of the "forgotten men and women of America" and blasting Joe Biden as a "Trojan Horse for the radical left."

"The road to victory runs right through Pennsylvania," Pence told more than 1,000 supporters here after bounding down the stairs from Air Force Two and running toward the stage outside an airport hangar.

1200 (with trims) by Andrew Seidman in Reading, Pa.. MOVED


^Biden or Trump? Autoworkers back their guy

CAMPAIGN-MICH-AUTOWORKERS:DTN — Inside General Motors Co.'s Flint Assembly plant, autoworkers are staking out both sides of the aisle — a reflection of the political division cleaving the Michigan electorate less than 20 days before the election.

Richard Incrocci says he loves his union as he stands in the parking lot of the United Auto Workers Local 598 hall that proudly displays Biden/Harris signs out front. So does his co-worker Lori Welch.

But they are divided over who should sit in the Oval Office the next four years.

1500 Kalea Hall in Flint, Mich. MOVED


^Whitmer kidnap evidence shows accused plotters shooting, threatening, Tasing

MICH-GOV-PLOT:DTN — Photos and videos released by federal prosecutors Friday showed members of an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer firing weapons, threatening to kill law-enforcement officers and testing an 800,000-volt Taser that was supposed to be used to subdue Michigan's highest-ranking politician.

The videos and photos are evidence that helped convince a federal magistrate judge to order five of the accused plotters to stand trial following an FBI investigation that revealed a broader plot to kidnap the governor and spark a civil war. In all, 14 people have been charged with crimes in state and federal court.

550 by Robert Snell in Detroit. MOVED


^Why do conspiracy theories about pedophilia hold such sway with some conservatives?

CONSERVATIVES-CONSPIRACIES:LA — In modern presidential campaigns, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about pedophilia are now almost as routine as stump speeches, poll results and televised debates.

In 2016, Democrats' imagined penchant for child predation was manifested in the made-up charge that Hillary Clinton presided over a child sex-trafficking ring. Adherents of this fiction spun an elaborate online fantasy that the presidential candidate was running such an enterprise from a nonexistent network of tunnels underneath a real-life pizza joint in Washington, D.C.

Now similar fictions are being aimed at Joe Biden, this year's Democratic presidential nominee.

1650 (with trims) by Melissa Healy. MOVED



^Tony-nominated actor Anthony Chisholm dies at 77

CHISHOLM-OBIT:NY — Celebrated stage and screen actor Anthony Chisholm has died at age 77.

His talent management company confirmed the news on a social media post. The cause of death is not immediately known.

"The Katz Company is saddened to announce the passing of our longtime friend and client, Tony-Nominee, Anthony Chisholm," a post shared on Instagram Friday evening read.

350 by Muri Assun o. MOVED


^Golden Age actress and singer Rhonda Fleming dies at 97

FLEMING-OBIT:LA — Rhonda Fleming, the green-eyed, auburn-haired actress who was known as the Queen of Technicolor during Hollywood's Golden Age and who made a mark as a philanthropist by channeling her wealth and prominence into helping others, has died. She was 97.

Fleming died on Wednesday in a Santa Monica hospital, her assistant, Carla Sapon, told the New York Times.

1000 by Devin Kelly in Los Angeles. MOVED


^'Home Improvement' actor Zachery Ty Bryan is arrested, faces assault charge

ACTOR-ASSAULT:NY — Zachery Ty Bryan, who played the character Brad on the sitcom "Home Improvement," was arrested overnight in Eugene, Oregon, after allegedly assaulting a woman he's been in a relationship with, police said Saturday.

Bryan, 39, was booked into the Lane County Jail and faces charges of strangulation, assault in the fourth degree and interfering with making a report, according to authorities.

150 by Tim Balk. MOVED




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