The Supreme Court starts a new term
After more than a year of debating its docket virtually due to COVID-19, the Supreme Court returns to the courtroom Monday to conduct oral arguments in person. However, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh will participate remotely after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. Over the summer, a majority of the court handed down rulings that overturned President Joe Biden’s eviction moratorium, blocked his ability to unwind immigration policy by his predecessor Donald Trump, and allowed Texas’ restrictive abortion law to stand in a ruling that did not decide whether or not it’s constitutional. Ahead of the Supreme Court’s new term, Women’s March protesters on Saturday staged hundreds of rallies across the country in support of reproductive rights.
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Parkland school shooting suspect faces trial for attempted battery
Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the 2018 killing of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is going on trial — but not for the slayings. Jury selection begins Monday on charges that Cruz attacked Sgt. Raymond Beltran, a Broward County jail guard. He faces a possible 15-year sentence if convicted of attempted criminal battery on a law enforcement officer and three lesser charges. Cruz, 23, will get either death or life in prison without parole if he is later found guilty of first-degree murder. If Cruz is convicted of attacking Beltran, prosecutors can argue that is an aggravating factor when they seek his execution during the penalty phase of his murder trial, which has been delayed by the pandemic and arguments over witnesses and evidence. No date has been set.
Powerball prize balloons to $670M
A very lucky winner could earn an estimated $670 million from Monday’s Powerball drawing after no tickets hit all five numbers plus the Powerball on Saturday night. The new jackpot, if won, would be the sixth-largest in Powerball history and the eighth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot of all time, according to powerball.com. If the winner claims the cash option instead of a 30-year payout, they’ll walk away with $474.8 million. The jackpot awaiting Monday’s hopeful lottery participants hasn’t been this big since Jan. 29, when an anonymous Maryland group won $731.1 million.
Nobel Prize honors discovery of temperature, touch receptors
The Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine has been awarded to U.S.-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, for their discovery of receptors for temperature and touch. The winners were announced Monday by Thomas Perlmann, secretary-general of the Nobel Committee. Patrik Ernfors of the Nobel Committee said Julius used capsaicin, the active component in chile peppers, to identify the nerve sensors that allow the skin to respond to heat. Patapoutian found separate pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation, he said. “This really unlocks one of the secrets of nature,” said Perlmann. “It’s actually something that is crucial for our survival, so it’s a very important and profound discovery.” Last year’s prize in physiology or medicine went to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.
Score a free taco this National Taco Day
This week, you don’t have to wait until Tuesday for taco deals. Monday is National Taco Day, and taco purveyors are celebrating yet another made-up food holiday with freebies. Taco Bell is giving away crunchy tacos with $1 minimum orders via its app. Del Taco customers can claim a free stuffed quesadilla taco with any purchase Monday, the last day of the chain’s 10 days of deals. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven said its 7Rewards loyalty members can get 10 mini tacos for $1 at participating locations. And El Pollo Loco’s crunchy taco returns as the chain’s “first-ever, digital-only menu item” Monday through Nov. 1, meaning it’s available to order on the El Pollo Loco app and website. Salivate over more deals in this roundup.
Contributing: The Associated Press