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Seven Bodies Found in Northern Italy, France After Violent Storms

Seven bodies were found in a region straddling the French-Italian border near Nice on Sunday after torrential rains swept houses and roads away, officials in both countries said.Five of the bodies were discovered in northwestern Italy, including four washed up on the shore between the towns of Ventimiglia and Santo Stefano al Mare, near the French frontier. Some of the corpses might have been swept down the coast from France.Two more were found in France, including a shepherd found by an Italian search and rescue team. The other body was found in a vehicle that had been swept away by flash-flooding in the village of Saint-Martin-Vésubie.It brings to nine the number of people found dead after fierce rains and howling gales lashed the border area on Friday. French firefighters said another 21 people were missing, eight of them known to be as a direct result of the storm.The bad weather caused millions of euros in damage, with several road bridges swept away in Italy, and streets in some towns littered with debris, mud and overturned cars.Officials in the Piedmont region reported a record 630 mm (24.8 inches) of rain in 24 hours in Sambughetto, near Switzerland, more than half its annual average rainfall.In Limone Piemonte, a three-story house was swept off its foundations and into a river. In the nearby village of Tanaro, floodwaters destroyed the local cemetery, sweeping away dozens of coffins.In France, almost 1,000 firefighters were drafted into the Alpes-Maritimes region to look for the missing and re-establish communications. More than two dozen primary and secondary schools in the area are closed until further notice, local authorities said.Up to 500 mm (19.5 inches) of rain fell in less than 10 hours, a volume not seen since records began, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday.

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Early Voting in US 2020 Election Beating Records

As the November 3rd elections approach in the US, many voters in states that allow it are already taking advantage of casting their ballots early – either in person or by mail. In Virginia, residents got a chance to vote early starting on September 18th – and indications are that turnout is beating records.  Lesia Bakalets has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.VIDEOGRAPHER: Aleksandr Bergan 

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Жінка загинула в ДТП у Броварах, скоєному нетверезим дільничним – поліція

У Броварах на Київщині 4 жовтня водій, перебуваючи за кермом у стані сп’яніння, на пішохідному переході збив двох жінок, одна з яких загинула, іншу – доправили до лікарні, повідомляє Національна поліція.

За даними НПУ, за кермом автомобіля перебував дільничний офіцер Деснянського управління поліції. 

«Поліцейського, який скоїв смертельну автопригоду, звільнено з органів внутрішніх справ. Його безпосереднього керівника після проведення службового розслідування буде знято з посади. Також ми всіляко сприятимемо представникам ДБР у розслідуванні причин і обставин аварії. Винуватець має понести справедливе покарання», – заявив голова Національної поліції України Ігор Клименко.

Повідомлення про аварію надійшло до поліції близько 17:50.

За даними Патрульної поліції (станом на вересень), з початку року внаслідок ДТП в Україні загинуло понад 500 людей, близько 3 тисяч були травмовані.

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Thousands Take to Streets of Minsk in Ongoing Protests

Police in Minsk, Belarus used water cannon to disperse crowds as protests against President Alexander Lukashenko continued for the ninth straight Sunday. An estimated 100,000 people took to the streets of the capital Sunday.Since the longtime president claimed victory in a contested election August 9, protesters have regularly taken to the streets demanding his resignation and the release of political prisoners.Lukashenko maintains he won the poll in a landslide — garnering 80% of all ballots — despite widespread claims at home and abroad the vote was heavily rigged to keep him in power.For Belarus Protesters, Battle is for Long HaulDemonstrations intensified after an embattled Lukashenko was secretly sworn in for yet another term, but protesters realize the end may not come soonOver the weekend, Belarus canceled the accreditation of all foreign journalists.Late last week, the European Union imposed sanctions on about 40 Belarusian officials accused of falsifying the election results and cracking down on the subsequent protests. Lukashenko was not on the list.Public anger has stewed over the crackdown in the wake of the protests that have seen more than 7,500 arrests and police violence against demonstrators.Hundreds have emerged from police custody with bruises and tales of torture at the hands of Lukashenko’s security agents.Lukashenko has said the protests are encouraged and supported by the West and accused NATO of moving forces near Belarusian borders. The alliance has denied the accusations.

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Record-breaking California Wildfires Surpass 4 Million Acres

Deadly wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares/6,250 square miles) this year — more than double the previous record for the most land burned in a single year in the state.  California fire officials said the state reached the astonishing milestone Sunday with about two months remaining in the fire season. The previous record was set two years ago when wildfires destroyed 1.67 million acres (648,000 hectares/2,609 square miles).”The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away,” said Scott McLean, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire.Firefighters Hope Better Weather Will Help Contain California WildfiresBlazes on verge of consuming record amount of landCal Fire said in a statement Sunday that there have been more than 8,200 wildfires since the start of the year that have burned “well over 4 million acres in California.”  The flames have scorched an area larger than Connecticut. About 17,000 firefighters are still battling nearly two dozen major blazes throughout the state.Despite the grim milestone, there were signs for optimism this weekend.Powerful winds that had been expected to drive flames in recent days hadn’t materialized, and warnings of extreme fire danger for hot, dry and gusty weather expired Saturday morning as a layer of fog rolled in. Clearer skies in some areas allowed large air tankers to drop retardant after being sidelined by smoky conditions several days earlier.”In certain areas, we were able to get quite a bit of aircraft in. So we really pounded a couple different areas hard with aircraft,” Mclean said. “If the weather does what is predicted, we’re on that glide path I hope. But that doesn’t diminish the amount of work that still needs to be done.”  Virtually all the damage has occurred since mid-August, when five of the six largest fires in state history erupted. Lightning strikes caused some of the most devastating blazes. The wildfires have incinerated hundreds of homes and killed 31 people, but large parts of them are burning in largely unpopulated land.Many of the most destructive fires sparked in northern California, where hills and mountains dotted with many dead trees have provided plenty of fuel for fires to ignite amid high temperatures and strong winds. Thick, gray smoke from the blazes has fouled the air in many hill communities and major cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.Numerous studies have linked bigger wildfires in America to climate change from the burning of coal, oil and gas. Scientists say climate change has made California much drier, meaning trees and other plants are more flammable.Fire officials said the Glass Fire burning in wine country for the past week was their top priority.  Three fires, driven by strong winds and high temperatures, merged into one tearing into vineyards and forested mountain areas, including part of the city of Santa Rosa. Thousands of people were under evacuation orders, including the entire population of Calistoga, a town of 5,000.

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ФК «Шахтар» йде на самоізоляцію: у гравців і співробітників клубу виявили COVID-19

Футбольний клуб «Шахтар» повідомив, що йде на самоізоляцію після того, як у гравців і співробітників клубу виявили коронавірусне захворювання COVID-19.

«Після матчу «Десна» – «Шахтар» медслужба клубу отримала результати ПЛР-тестів на COVID-19 гравців збірної України, які здавалися напередодні від’їзду їх до розташування національної команди. Тести Андрія Пятова й Тараса Степаненка, а також двох співробітників персоналу «оранжево-чорних» виявились позитивними», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Як заявила 4 жовтня пресслужба клубу, «Шахтар» вжив «всіх необхідних заходів» і в повному складі йде на самоізоляцію за приписом санітарного лікаря, що курує клуб. 

«У понеділок і четвер усі футболісти, тренери й співробітники першої команди пройдуть додаткове тестування, після якого буде визначено подальші дії», – додали у клубі.

Станом на ранок 4 жовтня в Україні від початку пандемії виявлено 226 462 випадки коронавірусного захворювання COVID-19. Понад 100 тисяч людей одужали, 4397 – померли.

 

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У Киргизстані опозиційні партії заявили, що не визнають результатів виборів

У Киргизстані опозиційні партії оголосили, що не визнають офіційних результатів виборів 4 жовтня, за попередніми результатами яких, до парламенту проходять чотири партії, з них три – пов’язані зі владою.

Невдовзі після закриття дільниць (о 17:00 за київським часом) прихильники опозиції зібралися на мітинги в столиці Киргизстану, Бішкеку, і місті на північному заході країни Таласі. Вони виступають проти, за їхніми словами, масштабних порушень під час голосування.

Протестувальники невдовзі розійшлися, але лідери опозиції заявили, що 5 жовтня відбудуться нові акції.

Із 16 партій, що брали участь у виборах, у парламент, за попередніми даними, проходять провладні «Бірімдік», «Мекен Киргизстан» і «Киргизстан». Долає 7-відсотковий бар’єр також опозиційна партія «Бутун Киргизстан».

Остаточні результати мають оголосити 5 жовтня.

Опозиційна партія «Ата Мекен» заявила про «найбрудніші» вибори в історії Киргизстану і намір вимагати анулювання підсумків голосування.

Протягом дня голосування у Киргизстані повідомляли, що вибори проходили з порушеннями: зокрема, йшлося про масове підвезення виборців, видачу бюлетенів із позначками, фотографування виборцями своїх бюлетенів.

Центральна виборча комісія заявила, що розслідує скарги на те, що кримінальні групи тиснуть на виборців.

За даними ЦВК Киргизстану, явка на виборах склала близько 55%. За перебігом виборів спостерігали понад 270 спостерігачів зі 43 країн і 33 міжнародних організацій.

 

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Shorthanded US Supreme Court Returns with Major Challenges Ahead

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its new nine-month term on Monday buffeted by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Senate confirmation battle over her successor, the coronavirus pandemic and the approaching presidential election whose outcome the justices may be called upon to help decide.Amid the maelstrom, the shorthanded court – with eight justices rather than a full complement of nine – also has a series of major cases to tackle, including a Republican bid to invalidate the Obamacare healthcare law set to be argued on Nov. 10, a week after Election Day.If President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg, federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett, is confirmed as expected by a Senate controlled by his fellow Republicans, the court’s ideological balance would tilt further rightward with a potent 6-3 conservative majority.The court kicks off its term according to custom on the first Monday of October. It will begin unlike any other, with two cases being argued by teleconference due to the coronavirus pandemic. The court for the first time began hearing cases that way in May and will continue doing so at least at the term’s outset.The court building, where large crowds of mourners gathered outside after Ginsburg’s death of Sept. 18, remains closed to the public because of the pandemic.The confluence of events is a test of leadership for conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, who in February also presided over a Senate impeachment trial that ended in Trump’s acquittal on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressing Ukraine to investigate his Democratic election rival Joe Biden.Roberts is known as an institutionalist who prizes the court’s independence.”He would like to be a steady hand and wants the court to be on a steady path,” said Nicole Saharsky, a lawyer who argues cases before the justices.The most anticipated case in the term’s first week comes on Wednesday, when the justices weigh a multibillion-dollar software copyright dispute between Alphabet Inc’s Google and Oracle Corp. The case involves Oracle’s accusation that Google infringed its software copyrights to build the Android operating system used in smartphones.In the Obamacare case, Barrett could cast a pivotal vote.A group of Democratic-led states including California and New York are striving to preserve the 2010 law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, in a case in which Republican-led states and Trump’s administration are trying to strike it down.Obamacare has helped roughly 20 million Americans obtain medical insurance either through government programs or through policies from private insurers made available in Obamacare marketplaces. It also bars insurers from refusing to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions. Republican opponents have called the law an unwarranted intervention by government in health insurance markets.The Supreme Court previously upheld it 5-4 in a 2012 ruling in which Roberts cast the crucial vote. It rejected another challenge 6-3 in 2015. Ginsburg was in the majority both times.Barrett in the past criticized those two rulings. Democrats opposing her nomination have emphasized that she might vote to strike down Obamacare, although legal experts think the court is unlikely to do so.Religious rightsThe court hears another major case on Nov. 4 concerning the scope of religious-rights exemptions to certain federal laws. The dispute arose from Philadelphia’s decision to bar a local Roman Catholic entity from participating in the city’s foster-care program because the organization prohibits same-sex couples from serving as foster parents.The justices already have tackled multiple election-related emergency requests this year, some related to rules changes prompted by the pandemic. More are likely.The conservative majority has sided with state officials opposed to courts imposing changes to election procedures to make it easier to vote during the pandemic.Trump has said he wants Barrett to be confirmed before Election Day so she could cast a decisive vote in any election-related dispute, potentially in his favor. He has said he expects the Supreme Court to decide the outcome of the election, though it has done so only once – the disputed 2000 contest ultimately awarded to Republican George W. Bush.Democrats have said they will query Barrett during confirmation hearings set to begin on Oct. 12 on whether she should recuse herself in certain election-related cases. Justices have the final say on whether they step aside in a case.Jeffrey Rosen, president of the nonprofit National Constitution Center, said at an event on Friday hosted by the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation that he expects the court either to stay out of major election cases or, if unable to do so, to try to reach a unanimous outcome.”The court’s legitimacy is crucially important to all the justices in this extraordinarily fragile time,” Rosen added.If the court is divided 4-4 in any cases argued before a new justice is seated, it could hold a second round of oral arguments so the new justice could participate.