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Trump keeping press briefings short to avoid snapping at women reporters and losing even more voters: columnist

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When President Donald Trump started doing the coronavirus task force press briefings again there were two major differences. First, the coronavirus task force wasn’t present, but the second is that the president kept things short and left the room when he got frustrated.

A Politico Magazine column by Jack Shafer speculated that the reason Trump is bailing on the press briefings is that the fights he typically had with the press involved people of color and women and it could hurt him in November. Until recently, Trump was willing to face off against CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, Urban Radio’s April Ryan, CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang and, on Saturday, CBS News reporter Paula Reid. Now, however, the president has to clean up his act if he wants to win back female voters in November.

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Nancy Cook and Gabby Orr reported that Trump’s top aides have counseled him to avoid long briefings where he could get himself in trouble “straying off message and generating negative headlines.”

“Another way to view his dust-ups with female reporters is as an act of conflict avoidance,” said Shafer. “With his support among suburban women dropping in the polls, the Trump camp thinks that dodging unnecessary clashes with women in the briefing room might help win additional votes in November. Essentially, don’t make a bad situation worse.”

Typically, Trump would go on the attack, but now “his usually reliable mouth almighty seems incapable of articulating a put-down or a blow-off response,” the column said. “Our two-fisted brawler of a president, always ready to smash the interlocutors from the press with a virtual folding chair, has replaced moxie with pouts.”

Now, he’s turned into the weak leader Republicans at the Lincoln Project have alleged he is.

“He makes a show of maintaining his dominance by beating his breast, but when challenged by somebody superior, he takes his beating then slinks off to a dark, safe place to lick his wounds,” said the Politico column.

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Trump has attacked male reporters too, notably CNN’s Jim Acosta, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, NBC’s Peter Alexander and more. However, “male reporters who contest his views make him mad. But female reporters who do the same make him melt down.”

Stories of Trump’s loss of suburban white women began popping up last November, but now, amid the coronavirus failures, a recession, and record unemployment this spring, Trump is in serious trouble with the demographic.

Trump’s support among women, college-educated, suburban and non-college-educated, has plummetted since his 2016 win. The worst decline, however, is coming from white, college-educated women, who abandoned him. When he tried to send a tweet about it, he cited a report about suburban women, but he changed it to be about “housewives.”

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All of it puts Trump in an awkward position. If he avoids conflict with the women, he looks weak. But if he fights with them, he continues to lose votes.

Read the full Politico column.


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Moon may be richer in water than thought — and it could help propel humans farther from earth

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There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment -- and maybe even fuel -- on the lunar surface.

The Moon was believed to be bone dry until around a decade ago when a series of findings suggested that our nearest celestial neighbour has traces of water trapped in the surface.

Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy on Monday suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed "cold traps" at lunar polar regions.

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Asymptomatic coronaagvirus sufferers lose antibodies sooner: study

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Asymptomatic coronavirus sufferers appear to lose detectable antibodies sooner than people who have exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, according to one of the biggest studies of its kind in Britain published on Tuesday.

The findings by Imperial College London and market research firm Ipsos Mori also suggest the loss of antibodies was slower in 18–24 year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over.

Overall, samples from hundreds of thousands of people across England between mid-June and late September showed the prevalence of virus antibodies fell by more than a quarter.

The research, commissioned by the British government and published Tuesday by Imperial, indicates people's immune response to Covid-19 reduces over time following infection.

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2020 Election

Early voting to be hit by heavy rain and flooding as Hurricane Zeta barrels towards the Gulf Coast

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Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall near Louisiana's border with Mississippi on Wednesday evening as campaigns work to get supporters to the polls and convince any undecided voters to back their candidate.

"Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect," the National Hurricane Center warned.

"Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding," the center explained.

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