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5 things to know for November 1: Climate, Congress, Covid-19, elections, Sudan

By AJ Willingham, CNN

Consumers have already been given the warning that holiday shopping is going to be much costlier this year. So far, their habits indicate they’ll keep on spending anyway.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Climate

World leaders are meeting at the COP26 summit in Glasgow for some of the most important climate talks in years. More than 120 leaders will speak today, setting the tone for two weeks of negotiations that will hopefully end with a firm global plan to take on, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “coal, cars, cash and trees.” The latest UN climate report, released in August, painted a dire picture and predicted the world must halve emissions over the next decade to begin reversing disastrous climate effects. President Biden has already pledged to reach that goal by 2030, and part of his mission in Glasgow will be convincing other nations that the US is serious about its climate commitment. Passing that huge US spending bill, with the biggest-ever investment in combatting climate change, would have helped, but it’s still being formulated in Congress.

2. Congress

House Democratic leaders are pushing for votes on both the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the $1.75 trillion economic plan as soon as tomorrow. Many House Progressives signaled yesterday they’d likely back both bills — a hopeful sign that weekslong gridlock between progressive and moderate Democratic factions may soon end. The economic spending bill has been drastically pared down, and many key Democratic priorities, like paid family leave, have been left on the cutting room floor. However, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the Biden administration will continue to push for those priorities in other ways. As far as deadlines, the next important date to watch for is December 3. That’s when newly extended transportation funding — put in place to buy time on the infrastructure bill — runs out. That’s also when the US is expected to hit the debt ceiling.

3. Coronavirus

More than 5 million people around the world have died of Covid-19. This staggering threshold was surpassed early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Last week, the World Health Organization warned that global Covid-19 cases and deaths are increasing for the first time in two months, spurred by big increases in Europe. As cases continue to multiply in some areas, the South Pacific island nation of Tonga has recorded its very first case of Covid-19. The discovery has prompted thousands of Tongans to get vaccinated and could result in a national lockdown.

4. Elections

Members of the House panel investigating the January 6 Capitol riot are reexamining a 134-year-old law that they say former President Trump and his allies exploited to try to prevent the verification of the 2020 election. The Electoral Count Act was meant to give Congress a process by which to certify Electoral College votes submitted by the states. But election experts say it needs updating to ensure that a losing party can never subvert the Electoral College results. The committee’s new interest in this law undercuts a legal argument made by Trump that the panel has no true legislative purpose for seeking his White House documents. Elections will also be top of mind across the country tomorrow, as states and communities head to the polls. Virginia’s gubernatorial race will be of particular interest, as many see it as an early referendum on Democratic and Republican influence leading into next year’s midterms.

5. Sudan

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said he will never “willingly” stand down and called for an overhaul of Sudan’s fragile political process following a military coup last week. Hamdok has been under house arrest since Sudan’s top general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, dissolved the country’s ruling council instead of turning over control of the body to a civilian leader as planned. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated across Sudan over the weekend in protest of the military takeover. The activist group that organized the protests is demanding the restoration of the country’s transitional civilian government. Military and civilian groups have maintained a shaky power-sharing alliance in the country since the 2019 Sudan uprising that led to the toppling of President Omar al-Bashir’s three decade rule.


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