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Chaos in Cleveland; Serena pulls out of French Open; Disney's mass layoffs
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Chaos in Cleveland; Serena pulls out of French Open; Disney's mass layoffs

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Today is Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Let's get caught up.

These non-virus headlines are in the news this morning: Bitter taunts and chaos overtook the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden; Serena Williams withdraws from the French Open; and Disney will lay off 28,000 workers at parks.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


Top stories

APTOPIX Election 2020 Debate

President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden both speak during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions

The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos Tuesday night as Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs that sometimes overshadowed the sharply different visions each man has for a nation facing historic crises.

In the most tumultuous presidential debate in recent memory, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have supported him, telling one such group known as Proud Boys to “stand back, stand by.” Complete coverage here:

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France Tennis French Open

Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after missing a shot against Kristie Ahn of the U.S. in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. 

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open with an Achilles injury

Serena Williams pulled out of the French Open on Wednesday because of an Achilles injury.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion said she had a short warmup and decided she couldn't continue. She had been scheduled to play Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round at Roland Garros. Full story here:

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Disney Parks Layoffs

In this March 16, 2020, file photo, the entrance to the parking lot at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is closed in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 

Disney to lay off 28,000 at its parks in California, Florida

Squeezed by limits on attendance at its theme parks and other restrictions due to the pandemic, The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it planned to lay off 28,000 workers in its parks division in California and Florida.

Two-thirds of the planned layoffs involve part-time workers but they ranged from salaried employees to hourly workers, Disney officials said. Full story here:

In other news today ...

  • Former special counsel Robert Mueller pushed back Tuesday against criticism from one of the top prosecutors on the Russia investigation team that the team was not as aggressive as it should have been in probing connections between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.
  • A lawyer for former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn told a judge Tuesday that she recently updated President Donald Trump on the case and asked him not to issue a pardon for her client.
  • The Trump administration's top intelligence official said Tuesday that he has declassified Russian intelligence alleging damaging information about Democrats during the 2016 election even though he acknowledged it might not be true.
  • This year's U.N. General Assembly meeting began with calls for multilateralism and cooperation — a declaration that the urgency for countries to unite “has rarely been greater.” It concluded with a parade of divisive grievances that echoed when the final gavel fell.
  • The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it was outraged by a rocket attack a day earlier that killed Iraqi civilians and called on the government to take action amid an impending diplomatic crisis between Baghdad and Washington.
  • Leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia brushed off the suggestion of peace talks Tuesday, accusing each other of obstructing negotiations over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her rousing feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78.
  • For the fourth time in five seasons the best two teams in the WNBA will square off for the championship when Seattle and Las Vegas play in the finals.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

Today's national forecast

Heat, fires, smoke and drought to end September 2020 for the West as portions of the upper Great Lakes prepare for near freezing temperatures for early October. CNN Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the forecast. Watch here:

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APTOPIX Canada Autumn

Riders and their horses pass through autumn colors in the woods near Cremona, Alberta, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

On this date

James Meredith, a Black student, was escorted by federal marshals to the campus of the University of Mississippi, where he enrolled for classe…

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