Need2Know: Senate Has SCOTUS Votes, Trick-or-Treat Guidelines & Best Albums Ever

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In this file photo, parents dressed as Wizard of Oz characters, from left, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch, wait their children trick-or-treat at a shopping center at sunset in Freeport, Maine, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
September 23, 2020
Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, September 23, 2020:

SUPREME COURT SHOWDOWN

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he is on board with supporting a qualified Supreme Court nominee from President Trump, all but ensuring that the Senate has the votes to fill the seat before the election. A Court with a decisive 6-3 conservative majority is the nightmare scenario for liberals, though Senate Democrats seem to acknowledge that they have very few tools to stop it from happening at this point. The Judiciary Committee is reportedly making plans for confirmation hearings to take place next month in an accelerated timeline. Public viewings for Ruth Bader Ginsburg begin this morning at the Supreme Court. NY TIMES

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put in place new nationwide restrictions for six months, urging anyone who can work from home to do so. As the U.S. surpasses 200,000 deaths, a new poll shows six in 10 Americans won’t take a coronavirus vaccine as soon as it becomes available. The CDC has issued guidelines for Halloween that include recommendations against haunted houses, hayrides, parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating. The agency says the safest way to trick-or-treat is for houses to leave individually wrapped bags of candy at the end of a driveway or yard. NPR

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

The first presidential debate next Tuesday will be broken up into six 15-minute segments devoted to: Trump and Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, the pandemic, race and social unrest, election integrity and economic issues. Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg has raised $16 million to pay the fines and court fees of 32,000 Black and Hispanic voters in Florida who have felony records, a targeted move to help increase turnout for Democrats in the swing state. Floridians with felony convictions who have served their sentences are barred from voting if they have outstanding fines with the court. WASH POST

VIRTUAL UNITED NATIONS

In a normal year, this would be the week that all New Yorkers dread, as diplomats and heads of state converge on the east side of Manhattan for the UNGA. This year, everything’s virtual. President Trump opened the General Debate with an attack on China, the WHO and the “China virus” in pre-recorded remarks, and said he intends to deliver more peace deals in the Middle East. Presidents Xi and Putin -- neither of whom have made the trip to NYC since 2015 -- pushed back on Trump and the U.S. in their own messages. UPI

TESLA BATTERY DAY

Tesla investors and fans were hoping that Elon Musk was going to announce a breakthrough in the company’s battery technology at an event Tesla was calling “Battery Day.” Instead, Musk said that the company was in the process of making advancements that could eventually lead to electric cars with much longer ranges and cheaper battery costs -- but that they're still about three years away. Musk spoke to a parking lot full of Tesla shareholders who were lined up in their Teslas, honking in approval. THE VERGE

PELOTON KILLER KILLED

For a brief moment, it looked like Amazon was trying to take on Peleton with a lower-priced at-home exercise bike. Potential clients started to see ads for a $500 Prime Bike advertised by Echelon Fitness, but by Wednesday morning, it appeared to have been wiped from the internet.  BLOOMBERG

NOTRE DAME PUNTS

The Notre Dame-Wake Forest game scheduled for Saturday has been postponed after the Fighting Irish said 13 players were in isolation, with seven testing positive for COVID-19. The schools say they will try to reschedule the game for Oct. 3. It’s the fourth ACC game to be impacted by the coronavirus. ESPN

TIME 100

Time magazine has unveiled its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Usually it’s a big gala event -- this year, it happened as a virtual event aired in primetime on ABC. Dr. Fauci, Google chief Sundar Pichai, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Gabrielle Union are among those who made the list. SEE THE COVERS

SPOTTED...

…Prince Harry, sporting a new hairstyle in a video message he recorded for his charity: SEE PIC
…Succession’s Jeremy Strong, aka Kendall Roy, carrying his new Emmy as he left a NYC hotel: SEE PIC

LEFTOVERS: BEST ALBUMS EVER

What is the greatest album ever recorded? Rolling Stone has updated its revered 500 Best Albums of All Time list, starting from scratch for the first time since it debuted in 2003. Nearly half the albums are different from the original list, including: Taylor Swift’s Red, Adele’s 21 and Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head. Coming in at #1: Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. SEE THE LIST
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