Beltway Insider: Trump/Biden Sprint to the Finish, COVID-19, Euro Second Wave, Walmart Guns, NXIVM, Sean Connery

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President Trump and Democratic Challenger Joe Biden are in a race to the finish, with Pence and Harris, both wives and for the first time, former President Barak Obama hit the trial for his former VP.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending November 1, 2020, increased by 1.4 percentage points to 44.2% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by .9% at 52.7%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

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Election 2020, according to the website 270towin, which tracks the latest Presidential Poll averages have President Donald Trump trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden by 7.4% percentage points in ten National Polls. With an average of 51.2% of the sample audience indicating they will be casting their vote for Biden, and 43.8% of the voters sampled indicating they will be casting their vote for Trump.

Based on the state poll projections, the 270towin offers a color coded electoral map which projects, based on current state polls, the expected November vote. The map can be seen here.

All Hands-on Deck

President Donald Trump, Democratic Challenger Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Vice-President Mike Pence, Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, and Senator Kamala Harris, and a variety of other supporters, in what can only be called an all hands on deck weekend, are in a race to the finish hitting battleground states and pivotal swing states as the nation heads to the polls in 48 hours.

Pennsylvania, which many pundits believe is key to a presidential victory, has been inundated by both candidates. "President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden agree on one thing after blazing different trails throughout the campaign: both will focus on the key battleground of Pennsylvania during the final weekend," USAToday reported.

As the candidates focus of mid-west states, Pennsylvania which Trump won by a slim margin in 2016 according to the website 270towin, Pennsylvania polls show Biden with a narrow 4% lead over Trump when the third parties candidates are factored into the polling.

"President Trump on Sunday will begin a blistering stretch of 10 rallies over the next two days, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden will focus on the swing state of Pennsylvania. With just two days left until Election Day, Trump's schedule has him in traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan and Florida and in states where he is on defense such as Georgia and Iowa. Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, meanwhile, will be in Georgia and North Carolina working to mobilize voters. The California senator will be in Gwinnett County, Ga., in the afternoon and in Fayetteville, N.C., in the evening," The Hill reported.

Biden cancelled his Texas event when Trump supporters surrounded his bus inciting violence.

"President Trump on Saturday approvingly tweeted a video of flag-bearing cars surrounding a Biden campaign bus on the road, a day after the Biden campaign says a group of vehicles with Trump flags attempted to run its bus off the highway in Texas," The Washington Post reported.

Former President Barack Obama campaigned for the first time this season with his former Vice-president, in Flint, Michigan, hitting the president on several key issues, including the coronavirus, the economy and taking governing seriously.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to rise around the world. The weekly account confirms that a second wave is building with European nations enforcing shutdowns for, at minimum, one month.

The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending November 1, 2020, coronavirus cases increased globally by 3,466,400 confirmed cases, brings the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 46,028,400, with 1,194,100 deaths, an increase of 45,400.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending November 1, 2020, the total confirmed cases rose to 9,209,500 with new confirmed cases rising by 566,800. The coronavirus has claimed 230,500 total deaths, a weekly increase for 5,700 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

With two days before the election, the sudden surge, hitting the highest daily totals recorded since July, in the coronavirus has caused many Americans, who have yet to vote to review more closely the plans that each candidate present to combat the expected second wave.

Europe's Second Wave

The Coronavirus, which gripped parts of the European continent in the first six months of 2020, has re-strengthened and return forcing many of Europe's fifty-four nations to impose secondary full or partial shutdowns.

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To determine the extent of the second wave has created an interactive map of each nation plotting the years Covid-19 cases. It can be seen here.

France, Germany, The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, have all re-imposed mandatory one-month shutdowns. Italy, which the coronavirus held in a death grip in March, is facing a resurgence. The ministry of health has closed all bars, nightclubs and assessed the resurgence to vacationers. Belgium is expected to reach ICU capacity in the next fifteen days. Slovakia has instituted full population testing.

Taiwan Marks 200 Days of No New COVID-19 Infection

Taiwan has become the global medical model in fighting the covid-19 infection rate by marking the 200th day with no new infections in a population of over 24millon.

According to Forbes, the recent brush with SARS in 203 was clear enough in the minds of the population that adhering to strict governance regarding the public spread of the virus assisted in slowing the initial spread of the virus.

"The country's past brush with SARS in a 2003 outbreak that infected hundreds and killed dozens is said to be fresh enough in people's memory that the widespread wearing of face coverings and other means of mitigating viral spread was easily accepted by most of the population, and the government also already had systems in place to quickly address a public health disaster like coronavirus, the Washington Post reported," Forbes reported.

Taiwan also closed all borders early and implemented strict and expensive fines if citizens violated the government mandated quarantine procedures.

Leaders around the world are faced with considering the feelings of their population. Taiwan had no consideration for the "feelings" of their people only concern that if the virus weren't effectively controlled the expected infection rate would be catastrophic on the nation.

Walmart Returns Guns, Ammo To Department Store

Walmart, the nation's largest retailer who removed guns and ammunition from its stores following a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas which killed 23, and injured 23, in August 2019, has reserved its decision and will restock its shelves, just in time for holiday shoppers, with guns and ammunition.

After dismal 2020 retail profits, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion, who after the August 2019 El Paso incident, released a statement, which can be read here, regarding the retailers exit from the handgun and ammunition market.

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"We've been giving a lot of thought to our sale of firearms and ammunition. We've previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a "green light" on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a "red light," to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms," McMillion said in August 2019.

After the economic fallout following the Coronavirus shutdown and subsequent national stay at home orders, and with gun sales skyrocketing to a record 17million, the retail giant has announced, after a Philadelphia store was ransacked due to escalating violence, the removal of gun and ammunition displays from many of its stores.

"Walmart has removed gun and ammunition displays from thousands of U.S. stores, citing concerns of "civil unrest." The world's largest retailer said Thursday that customers can continue to purchase guns and ammunition by request. Walmart currently sells firearms at about half of its 4,700 U.S. stores," The Washington Post reported.

NXIVM Cult Leader Sentenced

Keith Raniere, the former leader of self-help group NXIVM, was sentenced to 120 years in prison in a federal case that accused him of turning some female members into his "sex slaves" branded with his initials.

Billing the cult as a executive Success Program, Raniere managed for decades to keep the intent of his organization secretive.

Using the standard mind control technique including sexual assault, sleep deprivation, and starvation, Raniere along with a high profile leadership and co-founder including Seagram's liquor heiress, Clare Bronfman, recently sentenced to seven years in prison, for her role, and actress Allison Christin Mack, who is awaiting sentencing.

Nancy Salzman, Co-Founder of the cult, "standing before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, acknowledged that she had planned "invasions of privacy" involving email accounts and the altering of recordings "edited to remove sections we did not want to turn over" to opponents in a lawsuit," The New York Times reported.

Salzman was due to be sentenced earlier in the year and due to Covid-19 the sentencing date has been pushed back. She is expected to face 43months in prison.

Jeffrey Epstein Victim Announces New Foundation for Victims Of Sexual Abuse

Jeffrey Epstein victim Jennifer Araoz announced this week, The Survivors Initiative, a new foundation to help survivors of sexual abuse and sexual trafficking. The foundation will provide support to local women in NYC and throughout the nation. Araoz was only 15 years old when Jeff Epstein raped her. Manhattan attorney Eric Lerner will be co-founding the new organization with former victims of sexual abuse.

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Sean Connery, Oscar Winner, Original James Bond, Dies at 90

Sean Connery, the Scottish actor, who many remember as the original 007 in the James Bond film franchise, has died this weekend at his home in the Bahamas. He was 90.

The news of his death reverberated throughout the world with accolades from those who knew him, worked with him and whom the actor influenced, filled social media.

Kevin Costner, who played Eliot Ness opposite Sean Connery's Jim Malone in the 1987 film, "The Untouchables," eulogized the academy award winner on the entertainment online magazine Deadline, "And although he was a very no-nonsense person, he was incredibly inclusive with me professionally and personally. He was the biggest star that I ever worked with and I will be forever grateful to be linked with him on film," Costner wrote. "Sean Connery was a man's man who had an amazing career."

"Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more," Craig said. "He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster. He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come," USAToday reported.

USAToday also carried a tribute from Pierce Bronson, a fellow James Bond alumnus, said of the late actor, "Sir Sean Connery, you were my greatest James Bond as a boy, and as a man who became James Bond, himself. You cast a shadow of cinematic splendor that will live on forever. You led the way for us all who followed in your iconic footsteps. Each man in his turn looked to you with reverence and admiration as we forged ahead with our own interpretations of the role. You were might in every way, as an actor and as a man, and will remain so till the end of time. You were loved by the world and will be missed. God bless, rest now, be at peace.

Sean Connery filled the screen with this larger than life persona, starring as the original James Bond, and becoming the character in the next seven films. He reprised his role in 2005 providing voice over for the James Bond video game, "From Russia with Love."

After a seven-decade career, Connery won his only Academy award for his role as Jim Malone in the 1987 film, The Untouchables. He is remembered for his role as the elder Indiana Jones in "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade," Marko Ramius "The Hunt for Red October," and John Patrick Mason in "The Rock."

Survived by his wife Micheline, and two sons, Jason and Stephane, Connery retired to the Bahamas where he lived with his wife, Micheline.

Jason Connery said his father "had many of his family, who could be in the Bahamas, around him" when he died overnight in Nassau. Much of the Bond film Thunderball had been filmed there. He said: "We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time. A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor," The BBC reported.

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