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.
President Donald Trump's debt causes ethics concerns, a federal judge postpones ban on TikTok, Georgia voters choose a short-term replacement for U.S. Rep. John Lewis, thousands evacuate Northern California amid fires and congressional Democrats adopt a health care centered argument against Amy Coney Barrett make up this week's five national stories.
Revelations that President Donald Trump is personally liable for more than $400 million in debt are casting a shadow over his presidency that ethics experts say raises national security concerns he could be manipulated to sway U.S. policy by organizations or individuals he’s indebted to. New scrutiny of Trump, who claims great success as a private businessman, comes after The New York Times reported that tax records show he is personally carrying a staggering amount of debt -- including more than $300 million in loans that will come due in the next four years.
A federal judge on Sunday postponed a Trump administration order that would have banned the popular video sharing app TikTok from U.S. smartphone app stores around midnight. A more comprehensive ban remains scheduled for November, about a week after the presidential election. The judge, Carl Nichols of the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia, did not agree to postpone the later ban. The ruling followed an emergency hearing Sunday morning in which lawyers for TikTok argued that the administration’s app-store ban would infringe on First Amendment rights and do irreparable harm to the business.
Seven candidates are facing off in Tuesday’s special election to become the short-term successor to the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis in Georgia. November’s general election will decide the full two-year congressional term, which begins in January. None of the candidates in the special election are on the ballot for November, but all say the vote is still important, citing the symbolism of having someone occupying the 5th Congressional District seat as well as practical concerns about making sure the district has a voice in any action Congress might take on COVID-19 relief and other issues.
Northern California’s wine country was on fire again Monday as strong winds fanned flames in the already scorched region, destroying homes and prompting orders for nearly 70,000 people to evacuate. Meanwhile, three people died in a separate fire further north in the state. In Sonoma County, residents of the Oakmont Gardens senior living facility in Santa Rosa boarded brightly lit city buses in the darkness overnight, some wearing bathrobes and using walkers. They wore masks to protect against the coronavirus as orange flames marked the dark sky.
Democrats are confronting the limits of their power as they fight against the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett with a strategy aimed at avoiding costly mistakes that could hurt the party’s candidates in November. Unable to block President Donald Trump’s pick on their own, they are arguing to voters that Barrett’s nomination threatens the protections of the Affordable Care Act — a focus that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced and many Democrats see as a winning message. The court will hear a case challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law just after the election.