US national security officials say Iran was responsible for sending threatening emails to Democratic voters ahead of next month’s presidential election. The emails appeared to come from a far-right pro-Trump group and were meant to “incite unrest”, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said. Mr Ratcliffe also said US officials found Iran and Russia had obtained “some voter registration information”.
Brazilian health authority Anvisa said on Wednesday that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had died but added that the trial would continue. Oxford confirmed the plan to keep testing, saying in a statement that after careful assessment “there have been no concerns about safety of the clinical trial.” AstraZeneca declined to comment immediately.
Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary that aired in Rome on Wednesday. “Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” the pontiff said in “Francesco,” a documentary about his life. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday to deliver a scathing – and occasionally humorous – condemnation of his successor while envisioning an America led by his former vice-president, Joe Biden. Waving away the polls and punditry that have shown Biden widening his lead in recent weeks, Obama urged Black men and young progressives not to sit out this cycle.
Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has been given permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told state-run news agency RIA Novosti. The 37-year-old is accused of espionage and theft of government property in the US for leaking troves of information on American intelligence and mass surveillance program to the media. Snowden has been living in exile in Moscow after initially traveling to Hong Kong.