The contenders for US vice-president have clashed over the coronavirus pandemic in their only debate ahead of next month’s election. Democrat Kamala Harris called Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic “the greatest failure of any presidential administration” in history. Vice-President Mike Pence, a Republican, said the Democratic Party’s pandemic plan amounted to “plagiarism”. Opinion polls indicate the Republican president is trailing by single digits in a handful of battleground states.
Donald Trump has promised that the treatment he received for coronavirus will be offered to Americans for free. In a new video posted on Twitter, the president said: “I want to get for you what I got – and I’m going to make it free. You’re not going to pay for it. “It wasn’t your fault that this happened, it was China’s fault. China’s going to pay a big price for what they’ve done to the world.”
Italy imposed a nationwide outdoor mask mandate Wednesday with fines of up to 1,000 euros ($1,163) for violators, as the European country where Covid-19 first hit hard scrambles to keep rebounding infections from spiraling. The government passed the decree even though Italy’s overall per capita infection rate is among the lowest in Europe. But Premier Giuseppe Conte warned that a steady, nine-week rise in infections nationwide demanded new preventive measures.
The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd posted bail Wednesday and was released from jail, leading Minnesota’s governor to activate the National Guard to help keep the peace in the event of protests. According to court documents, Derek Chauvin posted a $1 million bond and was released from the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights.
All U.S. troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, just hours after his national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early next year. A landmark deal between the United States and the Taliban in February said foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban.