Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Supreme Court senate hearings for Amy Coney Barrett continue, Michigan men face hearings for kidnapping plot, Facebook bans Holocaust denial posts, Portland protesters knock down statues and Johnson & Johnson pauses its COVID-19 vaccine trial make up this week's five national stories.
Barrett to face senators on health care, legal precedent
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will face senators’ questions over her approach to health care, legal precedent and even the presidential election during a second day of confirmation hearings on track to lock in a conservative court majority for years to come. The mood is likely to shift to a more confrontational tone as Barrett, an appellate court judge with very little trial court experience, is grilled in 30-minute segments Tuesday by Democrats gravely opposed to President Donald Trump’s nominee, yet virtually powerless to stop her rise. Republicans are rushing her to confirmation before Election Day.
5 men in Michigan governor kidnapping plot to face hearings
Five men accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appear in federal court Tuesday for a hearing on whether they should be detained before trial. The FBI made arrests last week after using confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Some defendants had conducted coordinated surveillance of the Democratic governor’s vacation home in northern Michigan in August and September, according to a criminal complaint. The men were trying to retaliate against Whitmer due to her “uncontrolled power” amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said.
Facebook bans Holocaust denial, distortion posts
Facebook is banning posts that deny or distort the Holocaust and will start directing people to authoritative sources if they search for information about the Nazi genocide. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new policy Monday, the latest attempt by the company to take action against conspiracy theories and misinformation ahead of the U.S. presidential election three weeks away. The decision comes amid a push by Holocaust survivors around the world who lent their voices to a campaign targeting Zuckerberg beginning this summer, urging him to take action to remove Holocaust denial posts from the social media site.
Protesters knock down Roosevelt, Lincoln statues in Portland
Protesters in Portland overturned statues of former Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and vandalized the Oregon Historical Society in a declaration of “rage” toward Columbus Day. Protest organizers dubbed the event “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage,” in response to Monday’s federal holiday named after 15th-century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, a polarizing figure who Native American advocates have said spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas. The group splashed red paint on the monument and used a blowtorch on the statue’s base Sunday night, news outlets reported.
2nd COVID-19 vaccine trial paused over unexplained illness
A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot. The company said in a statement Monday evening that illnesses, accidents and other so-called adverse events “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” but that its physicians and a safety monitoring panel would try to determine what might have caused the illness. The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have reached large-scale final tests in the U.S.