Monday Sunrise Briefing: Final US campaign sprint to the finish

Nigel Cook/News-Journal via Imagn Content Services/USA Today Network/Reuters
More than 8.3 million people voted early in Florida. Here voters cast their ballot in Deltona, Florida, on the last day of early voting, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden held rallies in battleground states during a final weekend flurry of closing arguments in a democratic contest to lead a divided nation. In this election, American voters have clear choices - in both style and substance - on how to tackle problems such as the economy, health care, racial and gender inequity, and the environment. “There’s more than just your standard ideological difference between the two candidates,” Jeffrey Engel at Southern Methodist University tells the Associated Press. “There’s a fundamentally different view of what the presidency is and what leadership means for the nation.” 

And Americans are responding with a historic turnout: A record 93 million votes have already been cast, or more than 67 percent of the total vote in 2016, according to the U.S. Election Project. But a victor in the presidential race may not be known on Nov. 3. The pandemic-warped surge in early voting also portends an extended vote-counting period.

2. Tears of relief and joy. Rescue workers shed tears of joy Monday as they pulled two girls alive from the rubble, three days after a strong earthquake shook Turkey and Greece. Throughout the weekend, search and rescue efforts continued in Turkey, and on Sunday, a 70-year-old man was also extracted from a collapsed building. He said, “I never lost hope.” Onlookers applauded in joy and wept with relief as ambulances carrying the 14-year-old and 3-year-old girls rushed them to hospitals. The overall death toll in Friday's quake reached 85 on Monday. Close to 1,000 people were injured, mostly in Turkey, by the quake that was centered in the Aegean Sea northeast of the Greek island of Samos.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been baking Hokkaido milk bread, tossing a javelin, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

3. End of a masculinity era. Scottish actor Sean Connery, the prototypical James Bond, defined a kind of masculinity for an era, exuding a machismo, charm, and humor that shaped Hollywood movies for decades. Connery saw Bond as a product of World War II, arriving “at a time when people were fed up with rationing and drab times and utility clothes and a predominantly gray color in life,” he said in1965. Connery differed from the “007” character in many respects. But “in that same [1965] Playboy interview, he explained why he believed hitting a woman with an open fist was justifiable,” writes AP film writer Jake Coyle. Over time, Connery crafted more diverse, and more engaging, portraits of manhood on screen. Two decades ago, Connery retired from filmmaking. He passed on Saturday.

AP Photo/Juan Karita
A family wearing costumes trick-or-treat for Halloween in La Paz, Bolivia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. More typically, Bolivians celebrate Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2.

Look Ahead

Monday, Nov. 2

Last hurrahs. President Donald Trump plans get-out-the vote rallies in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin on Monday. Democratic Joe Biden plans rallies in Pennsylvania and Ohio. 

Domestic abuse or libel? A British judge is expected to rule on whether actor Johnny Depp was libeled by a tabloid newspaper that branded him a wife-beater.

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Democracy watch. Although early voting has been underway in many states, today is officially Election Day in the United States. 

Wednesday, Nov. 4

Religious liberty and anti-discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case involving a Catholic foster agency that refuses to recruit or certify LGBTQ couples as foster parents. Six of the nine justices are Roman Catholics.

Thursday, Nov. 5

U.K. battles virus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on business and daily life in England beginning today, and lasting until Dec. 2.

Saturday, Nov. 7.

Rock & Roll honors. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame welcomes its newest members - Depeche Mode,The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., and T. Rex. The rockin’ induction ceremony is at 8 p.m. E.T. on HBO.

Generosity Watch

Courtesy of The Village Bakery
One of the many hot chocolate bombs being sold by The Village Bakery in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The bakery hires special needs staff and is donating its chocolate bomb profits to charity. Shown here, hot milk poured over a unicorn white chocolate bomb.

What do you do if your plans to open a bakery, staffed by those with special needs, are put on hold by the pandemic? 

Professional pastry chef Dana Bellefeuille in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, hit the pause button. But she kept baking from home. And like any good businesswoman, she knows how to capitalize on consumer trends. In this case, she saw videos of hot chocolate bombs were going viral. So, she and Emily Colgrove, who has been diagnosed with down syndrome, are now creating their own versions of the baseball-sized chocolate balls stuffed with mini-marshmallows that melt into a cup of hot cocoa. They’re getting orders from around the country for their $6 hot chocolate bombs. Chef Bellefeuille has donated the profits - more than $1,000 so far - to the Panhandle Autism Society, reports the KREM-TV News in Spokane, Washington.

Chef Bellefuille plans to open up a storefront shop for The Village Bakery in January.

Hidden gem 

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

An electrician’s good deed launches a movement of helpers

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about the first executive director of racial equity in Vermont, one of the whitest states in America. 

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. For some abroad, ‘four more years’ of Trump sounds pretty good
  2. Why Midwest farmers are sticking with Trump
  3. ‘Where are the women?’ At the UN, now there’s an answer.
  4. Tulsa’s Black Wall Street burned. These artists have a new vision (audio).
  5. Without precedent: Books that shed light on America under Trump

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