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Vice presidential debate, coronavirus pandemic, MLB playoffs: 5 things to know Wednesday

Editors, USA TODAY
·4 min read
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Vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris — the prosecutor vs. the "king of sound bites" — get their turn in the spotlight at the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The debate will be especially high stakes. With Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis and the quandary that surrounded the first presidential debate, voters may view the contest as a better chance to understand the issues. Though Pence has been through a vice presidential debate, this is a first for Harris. While she can rely on her prosecutorial skills, the rising Democratic star hasn’t debated a Republican since her 2010 race for California attorney general. Susan Page, USA TODAY's Washington Bureau chief, will moderate. Page became a White House correspondent for USA TODAY in 1995 and has interviewed nine presidents, six of them while they were in office.

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Will Trump respond to Biden's debate statement?

The political spotlight Wednesday will be on the vice presidential debate but President Donald Trump may borrow some of the limelight to respond to a significant statement from his opponent Joe Biden. The former vice president, who gave a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, told reporters he and Trump "shouldn't have a debate" as long as the president remains positive for the coronavirus. Trump hasn't been seen since Monday when he returned to the White House from his stint at Walter Reed Military Medical Center to get treated for COVID-19. But he was active on Twitter Tuesday despite not having any events on his official schedule — and that included saying he will take part in the second presidential debate, scheduled for Oct. 15.

'Rapid intensification': Delta, now a Category 3 'major' hurricane

Hurricane Delta was rushing toward landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday with "life-threatening storm surge" and "significant flash flooding." The National Hurricane Center said Delta, which intensified into a powerful Category 3 "major" hurricane with winds up to 145 mph, is going through "a very impressive rapid intensification episode." Delta intensified from 40 to 110 mph in the first 24 hours since it became a named storm, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. Though forecasters are unsure exactly where or when it could hit the USA, areas from Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle could see dangerous conditions Thursday night into Friday.

New-look MLB playoffs rolls along with jam-packed schedule

Major League Baseball's divisional series rolls along with four games Wednesday, including a potential series-clincher between the Houston Astros and Oakland A's (3:35 p.m. ET on TBS). The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, with George Springer powering Houston to the brink of a fourth consecutive ALCS appearance.After winning Game 1, the Atlanta Braves will attempt to build on its series lead on the upstart Miami Marlins (2:08 p.m. ET on MLB Network). The Tampa Bay Rays evened up their series with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, and the two teams square off again at Petco Park on Wednesday (7:10 p.m. ET on TBS). And to end the night, the National League favorite Los Angeles Dodgers, who prevailed over the San Diego Padres in Game 1, will look to gain a two-game edge (9:08 p.m. ET on FS1).

Two women share Nobel Prize in Chemistry for genome work

The rollout of the 2020 Nobel Prizes continued Wednesday with the announcement of the prize in chemistry. French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer A. Doudna were honored for developing a method of genome editing likened to “molecular scissors” that offer the promise of one day curing genetic diseases. On Tuesday, three scientists — Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States — won the Nobel Prize in physics for establishing the reality of black holes. And on Monday, the Nobel in medicine was awarded to Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harris-Pence, Trump COVID-19 diagnosis: 5 things to know Wednesday