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Live Reporting

Edited by Rebecca Seales

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's a wrap (for now)

    Early voter in Wisconsin

    We're pausing our US election live coverage for the day, now just two weeks from polling day on 3 November. Already, a record 29 million ballots have been cast nationwide.

    So what were the big moments from today?

    • It was the first day of early voting in Wisconsin - a key battleground state
    • Joe Biden again remained off the trail as he preps for the Thursday presidential debate. Still, the Democrat maintains a steady lead in national polls
    • Donald Trump, making his own pitch to the American people, claimed again today that the US is weathering the pandemic well - despite figures showing rising cases and hospitalisations in almost all states
    • First Lady Melania Trump pulled out of a planned campaign appearance this evening - a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania with the president - because of lingering symptoms of her Covid-19 infection
    • And, in a more festive update, Democratic Vice-Presidential pick Kamala Harris celebrated her 56th birthday today

    We'll be back tomorrow with the latest campaign news and analysis. Former President Barack Obama will make his first campaign appearance for Biden, holding a drive-in rally in Philadelphia, and President Trump will hold yet another rally himself, this time in Gastonia, North Carolina.

    Monday's live page was brought to you by: Hugo Bachega, Victoria Bisset, Matthew Davis, Boer Deng, Rebecca Seales, Ritu Prasad, Georgina Rannard and Holly Honderich - with our team of correspondents around the world.

  2. An asteroid on 2 November?

    If you're sick of politics by this point, here's something else to turn your gaze towards: the prospect of an asteroid skirting by our planet the day before the election!

    It's a story fit for 2020, but no need to panic yet.

    The fridge-sized space rock isn't big enough to do any damage. "It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size," according to Nasa.

    As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson put it: "If the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe."

    But wait, there's more asteroid-related news!

    Nasa's planning a daring probe "high-five" with the asteroid Bennu. At 510m-wide (that's larger than the Empire State Building), be glad the hunk of rock is some 330 million km away from Earth.

    Read the full story here.

    View more on instagram
  3. Joe Biden 'eyes Republicans for Cabinet spots'

    Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake speaks at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in a program titled 'Strengthening Democratic Institutions' at Harvard University on March 1, 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Image caption: Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, is reportedly being considered for a Cabinet position in Joe Biden's administration

    Joe Biden's team is reportedly vetting a select group of Republicans for potential positions on the Democratic nominee's Cabinet.

    Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Senator Jeff Flake have both been named as potential options for high-profile seats, according to Politico.

    Should he win, reaching across the aisle could help Biden make good on his campaign promise to be a president for all Americans.

    The downside? He could face criticism from the more progressive wing of his party that he is pandering to the political right.

    Bringing someone from the opposite party on board would actually be a return to tradition, as set by past presidents including Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama - but not by Donald Trump.

  4. Climate, economy and healthcare: Where they stand

    Banner that reads: "Climate"

    President Trump is a climate change sceptic, and wants to expand non-renewable energy. He aims to increase drilling for oil and gas, and roll back further environmental protections.

    He has committed to withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord - the international agreement on tackling climate change - which the US will formally leave later this year.

    Joe Biden says he would immediately re-join the Paris climate agreement if elected. He wants the US to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and proposes banning new leases for oil and gas drilling on public lands, as well as a $2 trillion investment in green energy.

    Banner that reads: "Economy"

    Trump has pledged to create 10 million jobs in 10 months, and create one million new small businesses. He wants to deliver an income tax cut, and provide companies with tax credits to incentivise them to keep jobs in the US.

    Biden wants to raise taxes for high earners to pay for investment in public services, but says the increase will only impact those earning over $400,000 a year. He supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 (£11.50) an hour from the current rate of $7.25.

    Banner that reads: "Healthcare"

    Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed under President Obama, which increased the federal government's regulation of the private health insurance system, including making it illegal to deny coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. He says he wants to improve and replace it, although no details of the plan have been published.

    The president also aims to lower drug prices by allowing imports of cheaper ones from abroad.

    Biden wants to protect and expand the ACA. He wants to lower the eligibility age for Medicare, the policy which provides medical benefits to the elderly, from 65 to 60. He also want to give all Americans the option to enrol in a public health insurance plan similar to Medicare.

    We have more on the candidates' plans here.

  5. What's at stake? 'Just about everything I think'

    Tom

    Today we're featuring members of our voter panel who are US military veterans. Next up, Tom Yasko.

    Tom served with the US Army in Iraq as a combat medic, but went into medical retirement nearly 10 years ago with spinal cord injuries. He is a political centrist and California resident who currently lives in Oahu, Hawaii. He is voting by mail in California for the Biden/Harris Democratic ticket.

    Why does this election matter to you?

    Aside from being politically independent (a conservatively liberal centrist), a former Silicon Valley tech executive and retired from active duty combat medic, I am also trying to recover from a spinal cord injury I received in 2013 while obtaining Veterans Affairs (VA) managed care in the community.

    In the current climate, I’m not sure any of that actually matters as I have wrestled with the VA over my care and treatment and even have an ongoing legal matter with the civilian provider. But one thing I do know for sure: no one is siding with the science. Which is very, very frustrating… personally. Whatever happens November 3rd, I would like to see the US begin a return to some semblance of sanity.

    How does your background as a veteran influence your vote?

    I don’t think it does. I joined active duty Army at age of 30, which means, I think, that I already held substantive views and positions on an array of things prior to ever being on active duty.

    I support Biden because

    1. He’s not Trump.
    2. Although older and a career politician (two things I wish we had less of in certain areas of American politics), I like his messaging, his platform and I definitely like the idea of Kamala Harris as VP.

    Tom is a member of our US election voter panel. You'll hear more from him, and many of our other voters, throughout the week.

    Join the conversation:

  6. Rapper 50 Cent wades into the race

    50 Cent

    When he is being vocal, 50 Cent, a rapper, is usually talking about being in "da club".

    But today, he had a different message.

    "VOTE For TRUMP," 50, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, wrote in a profanity-laden Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of Joe Biden's tax plan, which suggested that top tax rates under the former vice-president would reach 62%.

    "62% are you out of ya ******* mind," 50 Cent wrote.

    Would tax rates really climb that much under a President Biden? The BBC's Reality Check team did some digging:

    Joe Biden has pledged to only impose higher taxes on those earning more than $400,000 a year - about 1.5% of the US population.

    Tax calculations are rarely straightforward but a Tax Policy Center study backs up the idea that most people won't be charged higher rates. It also estimates that the effective, or average, tax rate on the top 1% of earners would rise to 39%. Different taxes imposed by individual states could lead to variations in the figure.

    Assuming that 50 Cent's earnings are in the highest earning bracket, he could well be liable for a tax hike and could consider life as 30 Cent.

  7. The deported immigrants who still like Trump

    Mariana Sanches

    BBC News Brasil Correspondent in Washington DC

    President Trump has a surprising group of fans - the deported.

    At the beginning of the year, Waldir Pereira da Silva, 44, paid $25,000 to a human trafficker to cross the Mexico-US border with his family. His plan was to reach the state of North Carolina, where he was promised a job as a janitor for $20 an hour. In Brazil, he made that much per day.

    The dream ended hours after Waldir, his wife, and their 14-year-old daughter set foot in El Paso, Texas. They were found by American agents and held in custody for 16 days, before being loaded onto the plane chartered by the Trump administration to return them to Brazil.

    He recalls those as harsh days. They were called criminals and terrorists by the agents. He says they were not given enough food. But despite the experience, Waldir, now in Brazil, is still a Trump enthusiast.

    "I always liked him. He is a strict person, who wants the right things well done. Each country has its policy and I have nothing to disagree with. If Trump sends us back, then we go back. Trump is cool, follows Biblical principles, improved the economy, and says everything he thinks in a very direct manner."

    Waldir shows some of Trump's supporters prioritise other aspects of him over his immigration agenda: Trump's toughness, his management of the economy, and his conservative position on issues like abortion.

    If you read Portuguese, there's more on this story from BBC Brasil here.

    Waldir's family
    Image caption: Waldir's family
  8. In pictures: People go to polls for early voting

    Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting in Wisconsin
    Image caption: Tuesday was the first day of in-person early voting in Wisconsin

    Early in-person voting began on Tuesday in Wisconsin.

    Queues formed and stickers reading "I Voted Early" were handed out in polling stations around the state.

    The practice, which varies from state-to-state, allows people to cast their vote days or even weeks in advance. It is hoped that it encourages more people to vote and reduces queues on election day itself.

    Queues formed at polling stations in Wisconsin
    Image caption: Queues formed at polling stations in Wisconsin
    Early voting will go until 1 November in Wisconsin
    Image caption: Early voting will go on until 1 November in Wisconsin
    A voter casts in ballot in Wisconsin

    In New York state, early voting will begin on 24 October and run until 1 November. Posters for 'Vote or Die,' a campaign by musician Sean Combs (aka P Diddy) to encourage people to vote, are already adorning the streets.

    Last week, photos of long queues to vote were met with shock in some countries around the world.

    Posters for Sean Combs 'Vote or Die' initiative have been seen in New York City
    Image caption: Posters for Sean Combs' 'Vote or Die' initiative have been seen in New York City
  9. Your Questions Answered: How would a Biden win change US-China relations?

    Your questions answered

    We’ve been asking our readers for their most pressing questions about the US election. Now it’s our turn to respond.

    Click here if you want to know more about this project or send in a question of your own.

    Olivia, 20, from Chengdu, China, asks: If Biden wins, what kind of policies or strategies will he adopt over the relationship with China?

    Biden's pledge to repair relationships with US allies fits in with his plan to create an international coalition that China "can't afford to ignore".

    Here's what our state department correspondent Barbara Plett Usher says:

    There is rare cross-party agreement on getting tough with China over trade and other issues. The question is about tactics.

    Biden would continue President Trump's policy of countering China's "abusive economic practices," but jointly with allies, as opposed to Trump's preference for unilateral trade deals.

    Read her full analysis on how a Biden win might change US foreign policy here.

    And read up about who China really wants to win the election here.

  10. Miami officer in Trump mask sparks calls of voter intimidation

    As the key swing state of Florida embarks on day two of early voting, a photo of a local police officer shared by a Miami Democrat is causing a stir online.

    The Miami policeman was photographed wearing a pro-Trump mask while in uniform, prompting some to accuse him of voter intimidation and call for his firing.

    Wearing a political item on the job is against the Florida code for state employees.

    The Miami police department has responded to the photo, saying they're aware of the image and that such behaviour is "unacceptable, a violation of departmental policy, and is being addressed immediately".

    View more on twitter
  11. Who are American truckers backing?

    Michael Ware says he's not keen on either candidate
    Image caption: Michael Ware says he's not keen on either candidate

    What do American truckers think of the presidential choice ahead? The industry employs 3.6 million drivers, and truckers are seen as a visible part of the culture of middle America. BBC OS on BBC World Service radio has been speaking to a group of them.

    Michael in Arizona has been driving refrigerated food trucks for 23 years. "I'm not all that keen on either one of the candidates. I know I'm not a Trump supporter. I don't know enough about Biden to feel comfortable enough to say 'he's my guy'," he says.

    Pat in Indianapolis flies a Trump flag outside his house.

    "Joe Biden's been a politician for 47 years and if you don't know anything about him now, what are you hoping to learn?

    "Over the last several elections, we're voting for the lesser of the evils."

    All the drivers agree that homelessness is something they see a lot. "I go to LA every week, by the downtown," says Sunny in California.

    "You see slum areas, under the bridges. I don't think anybody's fixing that. It feels like they don't even look at it."

    He wants a candidate who can help him feel safer at work.

    "My vote goes to the person doing something for trucking."

  12. Senate to vote on Supreme Court justice on 26 October

    Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative judge and long-time academic
    Image caption: Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative judge and long-time academic

    The Senate will vote on whether Amy Coney Barrett should become the newest Supreme Court Justice on 26 October, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced.

    That's on Monday - just over a week before the presidential election (and coincidentally Hillary Clinton's birthday).

    Barrett is Donald Trump's pick for the court, following the death of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last month.

    The Senate, which has a Republican majority, is expected to vote yes to the conservative judge taking a seat on the court.

    It would alter the ideological balance of the Supreme Court, which decides on some of the most important political and cultural issues in the US, including abortion, healthcare and voting rights.

    Read our reporter Anthony Zurcher on what's at stake in the vote.

  13. Democratic Senate candidates beat rivals' fundraising

    Money is extremely important in US political races, and this year Democratic candidates in the Senate are beating their Republican rivals hands down, according to analysis by the Washington Post newspaper.

    Fundraising helps candidates buy advertising as well as pay for their campaigning.

    Twelve of 15 Democratic candidates in the positions that are open raised at least double their opponents’ amount, eight raised triple, and six raised at least quadruple.

    Joe Biden is currently also raising more money than Donald Trump. He held a record-breaking $383m fundraising in September, meaning he is now outspending his rival.

  14. 'Why I back the Disruptor-in-Chief'

    Rom

    Today we're featuring members of our voter panel who are US military veterans. You met Rom yesterday. Today we're featuring his answers on why being a veteran impacts his vote.

    Rom served as a US Marine for seven years and now works in business development. After backing Trump in 2016, he is more enthusiastically supporting his re-election this year as a check on the “rampant liberalism” of Democrats.

    Why does this election matter to you?

    As an avid historian, a follower of current events since I was very young, and a veteran, I have become quite startled at the lurch towards the left by one of the two major political parties in our country. There was a time not long ago when the differences between the two parties were not that great. Both parties, Republican and Democrat, were aligned on the same goals, albeit, their methods for achieving those goals is what differentiated them.

    However, there has never been such a great divergence in goals between the two parties, with one - Democrats - appearing to make a steep and staggering lurch towards the left and intent on altering the fundamental values that the United States was built upon, and which allowed it to become the world's leader and economic powerhouse. There's never been a time in our country's recent history when one major party has pushed so hard to turn the United States into a socialist-like country.

    How does your background as a veteran influence your vote?

    Service members are trained to put their lives on the line for their country. In order to be willing to die for your country, you have to believe in its core values. I believed in the core values of my country when I served for seven years in the US Marine Corps, just as I continue to believe in those core values today.

    Notwithstanding his caustic and unconventional demeanor and personality, there are three primary reasons I support Mr Trump:

    1. He holds dear the values that have made this country great.
    2. He follows through on his campaign promises - unlike other politicians of the past, both Republican and Democrat, who made promises while campaigning but rarely followed through.
    3. Mr Trump has shaken the establishment class to its core - he's the Disruptor-in-Chief and I, as well as many others, believe disruption has been in order for a long time because the establishment class - Washington - has been out of touch with the general working-class population.

    Rom is a member of our US election voter panel. You'll hear more from him, and many of our other voters, throughout the week.

    Join the conversation:

  15. Obama to make first campaign appearance for Biden

    Former President Barack Obama

    Former President Barack Obama is showing up on the campaign trail for the first time on Wednesday. He'll hold a drive-in car rally in the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, to encourage voters to turn out for Joe Biden, his former vice-president.

    The race is tight in Pennsylvania (which is also Biden's home state), and it could determine the outcome of the election. Though Donald Trump won there narrowly in 2016, Biden is hoping to win back former Democrats this time around.

    Biden is thought to be spending the week preparing for the final presidential debate on Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee, and is making few public appearances.

  16. Your Questions Answered: How might the election affect Africa?

    Your questions answered

    We’ve been asking our readers for their most pressing questions about the US election. Now it’s our turn to respond.

    Click here if you want to know more about this project or send in a question of your own.

    Peters Tunde, 25, from Lagos, Nigeria, asks: What impact would Trump (or Biden) winning the election have on Africa?

    We asked our colleague Dickens Olewe on the Africa desk to break this down. Here’s what he had to say:

    Despite Donald Trump’s widely reported pejorative remarks about Africa, many on the continent have a fairly positive view of the US. A recent study by Afrobarometer found that Africans – in the 18 countries polled - preferred the US developmental model to that of China, the continent’s largest trading partner.

    Africans feel more cultural affinity with the US than China, mainly because of the language and the cultural influence of the African American community, and this perception doesn’t swing much regardless of who occupies the White House.

    Under Trump, the US has been trying to drive a wedge between Africa and China, pushing the continent to pick a side.

    Biden or Trump, Africans want a close relationship with the US but don’t want to be told who to be friends with. In fact, the continent is keen to see a complementary relationship between the two world powers which it sees as crucial in helping it achieve its developmental goals.

    But if Biden wins, then Africans hope that there would be transparency in US military operations on the continent, and the reversal of policies that negatively affect Africans like a recent proposal by the Department of Homeland Security to limit students from several African countries to two years of study.

  17. Colombian vote may be 'key' for Florida victory

    Rafael Rojas

    BBC Monitoring

    A hand holding a sample ballot pictured in Orlando, Florida, on October 19, 2020
    Image caption: In-person voting has begun in Florida

    In the crucial electoral swing state of Florida, both US presidential candidates have increased their efforts to gain the support of the 280,000 Colombian-Americans in the state who are eligible to vote.

    The Trump campaign in Florida is borrowing some of the language that Colombian right-wing leaders have traditionally used to discredit the left.

    This includes Trump backers using the expression "Castro-Chavistas"- referring to followers of the late Cuban and Venezuelan leftist leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez - seeking to characterise their Democratic party rivals as extreme left-wing radicals.

    On 23 September, Colombia's leading daily El Tiempo reported that some Colombian lawmakers from the ruling right-wing CD party of President Ivan Duque were openly supporting Trump in political events with Colombian-American voters in Florida.

    Trump's Republican campaign has warned that a victory for Joe Biden would lead to a change in US foreign policy towards Colombia, which has been a major recipient of US security aid. Trump said Biden was "weak on Socialism and [would] betray Colombia".

    Countering this, Biden has made a point of highlighting the "bipartisan nature" of US-Colombia ties and his "20-year" relationship with the South American nation. In a 10 October opinion piece published by Colombia's El Tiempo, Biden wrote: "Rebuilding our alliance with Colombia will be one of my priorities."

  18. Trump's Rose Garden town hall

    Trump
    Image caption: File photo of Trump walking to the Rose Garden

    President Trump is getting ready to record his own town hall event at the White House, scheduled to start in 10 minutes or so.

    He'll be joined in the Rose Garden by Eric Bolling, a former Fox News host, to respond to questions from Bolling as well as members of the audience.

    But you won't get to see the president's Q&A session until it airs tomorrow night at 20:00 local time: a day before he faces off against Joe Biden in the final presidential debate of the season.

    It comes as the president and his campaign have complained about the quality of moderators selected by the presidential debate commission, accusing them of bias against him.

  19. BLM supporter 'fired gun' when Trump fans honked horn

    A Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporter in Maryland has been charged after he allegedly fired his gun when Trump supporters drove past his house, according to US media. No-one was hurt in the incident.

    Douglas Kuhn was putting up a BLM sign in his yard when his neighbours, who have Trump signs in their garden, honked their horn at him. The incident happened on Saturday in Kingsville, close to the city of Baltimore.

    "He reached down. He had a shotgun right there, pulled it out and pointed it right at… and we were in disbelief. Next thing we heard was a shotgun blast," the neighbour, Neil Houk, told CBS Baltimore.

    A different neighbour said he had heard a single shot.

    Kuhn is facing multiple assault and reckless endangerment charges and a felony firearm charge.

  20. Tiffany Trump trends and two rivals show love

    The Countdown is our new twice-daily digest, where we bring you the headlines you need to know and news nuggets you may have missed in the run-up to Election Day 2020.

    With 14 days to go, Trump heads to Pennsylvania for another rally, while his daughter Tiffany's slip-up at a Republican gay pride event is getting attention.

    In Utah, a Republican and a Democrat do something together that you would never expect.

    Want all the details? You'll have to give today's Countdown a read here.

    Tiffany Trump