We're T-minus 12 days until Election Day and Republicans have voted to advance Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. And somewhere in Nashville, two presidential candidates and a mute button are readying themselves for a fierce debate.
It's Ashley with the day's biggest news.
But first, this 100-year-old just voted in her 15th election: Mabel Cook is older than the right to vote. Here’s her advice ahead of the election — plus her favorite presidents.
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The Senate could confirm Amy Coney Barrett next week
All 12 Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination Thursday, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote on her confirmation Monday. No one opposed the nomination, but there’s a reason: Democrats boycotted the hearing entirely (drama!), hoping to stall the process by withholding a quorum. Instead, Democrats held a press conference Thursday morning and placed pictures of people they said were beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act on their chairs in the committee meeting room.
Barrett’s confirmation is still not across the finish line: The full Senate plans to vote on her confirmation to the Supreme Court on Monday, likely allowing Barrett to take her place as the ninth justice just days before Election Day.
Barrett's potential impact: Six conservative justices? 10 ways the Supreme Court could change.
Presidential debate mic check 1, 2, 1, 2
*Tap, tap, tap.* Is this mic on? It won't be for our presidential candidates at some points during tonight's presidential debate — the last chance for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden to flex on undecided Americans in hopes of winning their vote. What do we expect from the final debate, just 12 days before Election Day? Despite the introduction of a mic mute button, we expect another contentious debate at Belmont University in Nashville, which will be moderated by NBC's Kristen Welker. Both candidates have lingering questions to answer, from the president's tax records to the former vice president's stance on expanding the Supreme Court. For Trump, it's his last chance to shake up a race he's trailing in.
The debate will air from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT, and you can stream the match-up live at USATODAY.com with facts and context from our team of experts.
I'll be texting fact checks and updates throughout the debate. Want in on the action? Sign up for election texts.
What everyone’s talking about
Quibi shut down after six months. Of course it failed.
The U.S. blood supply is at critically low levels as blood centers are still reporting significant declines in blood collections.
Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions in an interview. Where did the footage come from?
"Worse than you think": Demi Lovato, Meghan McCain, more react to Rudy Giuliani in "Borat 2."
The 2022 GMC Hummer electric sport truck seems destined to be a hit.
A COVID-19 vaccine can't come fast enough
Science is making incredible progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna hit a crucial milestone in its progress toward winning approval its vaccine, announcing Thursday that it has secured all 30,000 participants for its Phase 3 study, more than a third of whom are people of color. So when could we get our hands on a vaccine? In general, scientists and public health experts say a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved at the earliest by December, but that doesn't mean it will be widely available to most Americans. The federal government is developing a distribution plan that would get the vaccine to certain populations first, such as essential workers, those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and the elderly. See what USA TODAY's expert panel has to say.
Give it to me straight: The U.S. has reported more than 8.3 million cases and 222,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The global totals: 41 million cases and 1.1 million deaths.
I'm proud of you, voters
For the first time in election history, more people are expected to vote early than on Election Day. With less than two weeks until the election, voter turnout nationally is already nearing 30% of the overall 138.8 million people who voted four years ago. If voters on Election Day turn out as expected, the U.S. could have the highest percentage of eligible voters actually vote since 1908, experts say.
What I'm not proud of? Iran and Russia allegedly tried to undermine the 2020 election. U.S. authorities are blaming Iranian hackers for threatening emails claiming to be linked to the far-right, authoritarian group Proud Boys that were sent to voters in some states. The emails threatened to "come after" voters who didn’t vote for Trump. The director of national intelligence said Wednesday that voter registration information had been obtained by Iran and by Russia in an attempt to to interfere with the election.
Ghislaine Maxwell, in deposition transcripts, denied introducing Prince Andrew to teen sex partners.
Which U.S. presidential elections had the highest voter turnout? Here's a ranking.
Amnesty International said Nigeria’s security forces fired upon peaceful protesters Tuesday, killing 12 people calling for an end to police brutality.
Fact check: A photo claiming to show a large Trump rally in Florida is really a Swiss music festival.
Forget that empty middle seat: Southwest Airlines plans to start filling planes in December.
He posed as a doctor. In reality, he was an accused child molester
David Menna said he was a doctor. An avid outdoorsman. Someone parents could trust. Boy Scouts and Young Marines bought his story, too. Accused of sexual abuse by multiple young men in two states, Menna used his outdoor skills and connections in youth organizations to gain access to children, and his story shows how easily an accused predator can bounce from one youth organization to another, dazzling parents and boys. Like Menna, these alleged predators may never have appeared on any sex offender registry. Today, if Menna volunteered to lead a camping trip for children, his record would still look clean.
A break from the news
🕷 Meet the diabolical ironclad beetle, a desert bug that can withstand nearly 40,000 times its body weight. It can be run over by a car and survive.
🎁 Gift shopping is hard: Here are 50 amazing gifts that women actually want.
💜Election season can be stressful: To help you relieve anxiety and stress, we've rounded up 15 relaxing self-care products.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amy Coney Barrett, Trump, Biden, presidential debate: Thursday's news