Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Monday, October 26, 2020:


Nearly 60 million Americans have already voted, more than the total number of early or absentee ballots that were cast in 2016. Registered Democrats have been dominating the early vote, though the GOP is starting to chip away at that lead. President Trump was in six states over the weekend and plans to continue a breakneck pace of rallies in the final week. He’s been telling supporters that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus, despite the numbers and Dr. Fauci saying the country is “going in the wrong direction.” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on CNN: “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” AP 


The U.S. has set a new record for new cases on a 7-day average: 69,000, surpassing the previous record set back in July. Hospitalizations are now surging upward across much of the country;  there’s discussions of rationing ICU care in Utah, while beds in El Paso, Tex. are at 100 percent capacity. Another outbreak has hit the White House, with the vice president’s chief of staff and four other top aides testing positive. The VP has remained out on the campaign trail despite his potential exposure. WASH POST


Senators came to work on a Sunday to clear the path for Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation. Despite procedural attempts by Democrats to stall the vote, the senate voted 51-48 to advance Barrett’s nomination. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who had said she wouldn’t vote to confirm Barrett so close to an election, joined with Democrats in trying to block the process but then said she would vote to confirm Barrett when a final vote comes, which is planned for today. ALASKA PUBLIC MEDIA


This week’s weather across America has something for everyone. It’s snowing in Denver, it’s 80 in Houston, it finally feels like fall in the Northeast, and there’s another tropical storm headed for the Gulf. Zeta is expected to cross the Yucatan tonight and then head into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably become a hurricane. The Louisiana coast is looking at a midweek landfall. This year is now tied with 2005 for most-named storms on record. ACCUWEATHER


Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins parent (and Cheddar sponsor) Dunkin' Brands is reportedly in talks to take itself private. Dunkin' would join the portfolio of Inspire Brands, which includes Wendy’s, Arby’s, Sonic and Buffalo Wild Wings. The deal would reportedly value the company at close to $9 billion. Dunkin' shares have more than doubled since the start of the pandemic, due to its strength in mobile and drive-thru ordering. NY TIMES


Facebook has begun to plan for the possibility of post-election unrest in the U.S., using an internal playbook that the company developed for “at-risk” countries like Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The biggest move is a plan to slow the spread of inflammatory posts that start to go viral. Facebook execs have said they’ll only deploy these measures in dire circumstances, but want to be prepared for anything. WSJ


The Dodgers are one game away from their first championship since 1988. L.A. beat Tampa Bay, 4-2, in Game 5 on the back of another commanding performance from pitcher Clayton Kershaw. But it was Saturday night’s Game 4 that’s still being talked about. The Rays won that game in one of the wildest endings in World Series history, in which the Dodgers made a pair of costly errors in the 9th inning, including a dramatic missed play at the plate: WATCH IT


MGM reportedly floated the idea of selling the new James Bond movie to one of the big streaming platforms rather than keep delaying its theatrical release, but the talks did not go anywhere due to the price. The studio is said to have wanted $600 million for a one-year license fee to stream No Time to Die. That was deemed too rich even for Apple, Amazon and Netflix. DEADLINE


Even though Adele was the host, and not the musical guest, on SNL, the writers figured out a way to get her to sing some of her greatest hits. It came in the form of a send-up of The Bachelor, with Adele playing a lovelorn contestant: WATCH


Pope Francis has named the archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, a cardinal. Archbishop Gregory will become the first African-American cardinal, and the first American to get appointed to the Catholic Church’s highest governing body in four years. NPR

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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