Believe it or not, we’ve entered spooky season: It’s October, which means:
- Somehow, there are only three months until the end of 2020 (we’re so close, y’all).
- It’s acceptable to binge-watch horror movies. Or skip Halloween entirely and blare holiday music (it’s about self-care, people).
- There are only 33 days left until the presidential election. Tell your kids, tell everyone: Register to vote.
It's Ashley. Let's do this.
But first, dough! Ireland’s Supreme Court ruled that bread sold by Subway isn't actually bread. 🥖
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California fires could merge into a 1M-acre mega-inferno
Crews grappling with two fierce blazes in Northern California kept a wary eye Thursday on potentially turbulent winds that could whip up the two wildfires. Officials fear the Zogg Fire, which has burned through 55,303 acres near Redding and left four people dead, could merge with a third blaze, the August Complex, into a mega-inferno of more than 1 million acres. "It's likely the Zogg Fire may make its way into the August Complex, (which) remains the largest wildfire in terms of total acreage burned in California's history," Gov. Gavin Newsom warned. The August Complex has incinerated 949,672 acres.
In Southern California, a swarm of more than 80 earthquakes, the largest a magnitude 4.9, rattled near the Mexico border Wednesday. Thankfully, no damage or injuries were reported.
Colleges are exploding with COVID-19 cases, so why is this school so safe?
Mounting coronavirus outbreaks among college students have become an urgent public health issue. Nineteen of the 25 hottest outbreaks in the USA are in communities heavy with college students. But a tiny school in Maine has a rigorous COVID-19 testing program that keeps cases at bay. At Colby College, students wear masks even when they’re by themselves outside or running laps around a field. They submit to COVID-19 testing twice a week. After nearly a month of classes, the campus has had fewer than a dozen positive cases. Can the college keep up its success when winter weather sends students inside?
Other COVID-19 developments:
- Vaccine check: One of the companies developing a COVID-19 vaccine will not have it ready until March 2021, at the earliest.
- India is on track to surpass the USA as the worst-hit country within weeks. Officials reported an additional 86,821 coronavirus cases and 1,181 fatalities Thursday.
- COVID-19 cases surge in the Midwest, including Wisconsin, where President Donald Trump is scheduled to have a rally Saturday.
What everyone’s talking about
- A sick baby on a Royal Caribbean ship had to get multiple amputations, a lawsuit says.
- A "Masked Singer" contestant removed his mask even before he was eliminated.
- This kid is going places – like the moon: A 12-year-old Georgia boy is a sophomore in college majoring in aerospace engineering.
- Who are the Proud Boys? The far-right group has concerned experts for years.
- A U.S. Senate candidate thanked the Proud Boys for providing security at a rally in Delaware.
- Michelle Obama reacts to the Trump-Biden debate, calling on followers to take action.
California to consider reparations for Black residents after historic law passed
California became the first state to adopt a law that requires a study of how it could provide reparations to Black residents and the descendants of slaves. The historic law, signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, creates a task force that will recommend what form reparations might take and who would be eligible to receive them. What could the reparations look like? They could come in the form of cash payments, student loan forgiveness, public works projects or job training. "Our painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions,” Newsom said.
- "The timing is right for reparations": Cities propose reparations amid nationwide unrest.
Chrissy Teigen, John Legend reveal heartbreaking pregnancy loss
Chrissy Teigen suffered a miscarriage Wednesday, posting heartbreaking hospital room photos on Instagram and announcing that her unborn child, a boy, died. Teigen kept fans up-to-date on her difficult pregnancy, which landed her in the hospital this week for bleeding issues. "We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before," Teigen wrote. The raw photos and details serve as a source of strength and empowerment for women going through similar struggles with infertility and pregnancy complications. More than 7 million people responded to her Instagram post; stars and fans alike sent condolences to Teigen and husband John Legend. Some used the comments section of her post to grieve over their own losses and share their stories with the woman they feel they've come to know and relate to.
- Suicide rates among active-duty military troops jumped to a six-year high.
- A New York diocese is the largest in the USA to file for bankruptcy over sex abuse lawsuits.
- 1,600 former Justice Department lawyers accuse Attorney General William Barr of using the DOJ to help Trump in the election.
- The Trump administration will slash the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the USA to a new low next year.
- "I did as well as I could": Moderator Chris Wallace talks Trump-Biden debate.
Checks on checks: Pelosi said she hopes for a coronavirus aid deal, but differences remain
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not appear optimistic about the prospects of a bipartisan deal on a coronavirus relief bill Thursday, signaling Democrats would push forward with a bill opposed by Republicans. After Pelosi met Wednesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the White House's top negotiators, the House postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 bill to offer more time for both sides to come to a potential deal. She said she expected Mnuchin would come back with a "counter" offer on issues in the bill, such as tax cuts, money for state and local governments and the weekly benefit offered to unemployed Americans. Pelosi said she hoped the House would move forward with a vote Thursday on its own legislation.
A break from the news
- ✅ 16 things less than $25 on Amazon you’ll use every day.
- 📺 Five reasons everyone is talking about the "South Park" pandemic special.
- 🚙 The McLaren GT is out of this world in style and performance.
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wildfires, Chrissy Teigen, coronavirus aid, California, COVID-19: Thursday's news