The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Friday, November 27th, 2020
The Top 10 Links of the Day, Global and US Snapshot and Morning Local News Briefing
“I want to be a Texan 24 hours a day.” -James Dean
Here are today’s Top 10 articles you need to read, New Mexico News Snapshot and Global and US Daily News Snapshot from ‘The Rock of Talk‘
New Mexico News Snapshot
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico's daily count of confirmed COVID-19 cases has been trending down from the record highs reported earlier this month. State health officials on Thursday reported an additional 1,708 cases, bringing the statewide total to just under 89,800 since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 1,469. Hospitalizations remain high, with 880 people being treated around the state. New Mexico has some of the strictest public health restrictions in place, including capacity limits at grocery stores and other businesses deemed essential. Face masks are mandatory and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Authorities in New Mexico have announced that the two men who were shot by police in separate incidents within four days of each other last month were each holding a gun when they died. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Albuquerque Police Lt. Hollie Anderson of the Violent Crimes Division released details on the fatal shooting of 52-year-old Matthew Montoya in a neighborhood driveway on Oct. 12 and the shooting of Jason Edward Galliart at a motel on Oct. 16. The status of the officers involved in both shootings was not immediately known.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico food banks say they will be able to provide more meals for thousands of families. They will be getting an infusion of $5 million in funding as part of an economic relief package approved by state lawmakers Tuesday and signed Wednesday by the governor. Officials at The Food Bank in Santa Fe said that along with unemployment, the need for emergency food assistance has increased during the pandemic. The Food Bank and its nonprofit partners moved about 7.8 million pounds of food in the first nine months of the year. In Albuquerque, the city is served 500,000 meals to seniors since March.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Forecasters with the National Weather Service in New Mexico say a storm is expected to cross over the state Friday through Saturday morning and could effect some post-holiday travel. The upper-level low pressure system will bring with it snow and strong winds for some areas. However, forecasters are warning the drought-stricken state not to expect too much moisture out of the system. About half of the state is dealing with exceptional drought - the highest designation under which fire danger increases and large rivers run dry. That marks a significant change even since the previous week.
Global and US Daily News Snapshot
A LOOK AT A JOE BIDEN CABINET
Joe Biden has unveiled a spate of Cabinet picks over the past few days, Washington veterans with ties to former President Barack Obama's administration. Biden’s team includes Antony Blinken, a veteran foreign policy adviser, for secretary of State; Ron Klain for chief of staff; and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary. Other Cabinet nominees and White House advisers include National Security Adviser pick Jake Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations choice Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and newly minted Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. But Biden indicated on Tuesday that he wanted to keep some of his former progressive rivals in the Senate, further diminishing the chances of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders joining his Cabinet. He said in an interview that his progressive agenda will need far left allies like Sanders and Warren in the Senate.
SEASONAL DEPRESSION MAY FEEL WORSE THIS YEAR
The holiday season can be a hard time for anyone coping with loneliness or loss, and that feeling may feel even worse this year, thanks to the pandemic. Many people are facing a first holiday without loved ones and have to abruptly adjust to the new normal. So how can we stay positive and nurture our mental health during a notoriously difficult time?
COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to spike across the country as people gathered to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Millions of Americans chose to travel despite CDC warnings and govt mandates to keep gatherings small, amid record numbers of hospitalizations and rising fear among medical experts that the holiday will result in super-spreader events. The Supreme Court's ruling against NY Gov Cuomo's limits on houses of worship could have implications for similar lawsuits, as the divide between govt regulations aiming to slow the spread of the disease and many Americans' desire to open up the country continues. This, as the Trump Admin says they are nearly ready to begin rolling out the first delivery of the coronavirus vaccine.
BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on and cities across the country are under shutdown orders & restrictions, what will the biggest shopping day of the year look like for retailers? Chicago's famed Michigan Ave has always been a hotspot for Black Friday sales, with crowds of holiday shoppers flooding stores looking for deals, but with retail stores only allowed to operate at 25% capacity and indoor dining banned all over the state, this year it could be a very different scene on the popular shopping corridor. And in cities across the US, popular malls and retail stores could see similar trends as many Americans may plan to shop online out of convenience, and safety.
E-COMMERCE SHATTERS RECORDS / CHICAGO
While there won't be as much "door-busting" this Black Friday, retail & online sales are still expected to set a new record. E-commerce is the star of the show this year with online spending expected to grow 33% year-over-year this holiday season, according to Adobe. The analytics firm says retailers with physical stores will have an edge, with "buy online, pick up in store" growing by 40%.
IRAN TERROR OPS IN EUROPE TRIAL
Today is the first day of a trial that lays bare Iran's terrorist operations in Europe. In 2018, an Iranian diplomat from the embassy in Vienna was caught redhanded in a pizza hut in Luxembourg handing over a bomb to an Iranian couple, a sleeper cell posing as refugees. The plan was to attack the MEK rally in Paris that Fox was covering. This is the first time an acting Iranian diplomat has been on trial charged with terrorism, and investigators say his actions were approved at the highest level in Tehran. The diplomat is believed to have smuggled the bomb to Europe on a commercial flight using his diplomatic immunity to avoid checks. The attack was thwarted after a tipoff by a "friendly intel service" (read Israel) and the operation involved French, Belgian, & German police. 4 Iranians are on trial in connection to the attack.
CONSUMER SPENDING POISED TO RISE FOR HOLIDAY, THEN SOFTEN
While consumer spending is expected to pop for the holiday, there's fears the momentum could slow down as COVID cases surge and states re-impose restrictions. Americans' confidence in the economic outlook dimmed this month. Jobless claims rose for the second straight week this week, a sign the nationwide surge in virus cases is starting to weigh on the labor-market recovery. Additionally, the expiration of expanded unemployment benefits at the end of the year could lead to a drop in income for many jobless workers. We look at the concerns that spending will drop off after the holiday and what consumers are looking for from Congress to kick start confidence.