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NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Grills Trump Opposite ABC’s Mild Biden Show

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George Stephanopoulos of ABC had it easy, steering an old-school Washington veteran through policy plans against a patriotic backdrop, while Savannah Guthrie of NBC had to navigate the stormy waters of QAnon, white supremacy and whether the virus-stricken president had pneumonia. (Despite repeated inquiries, he would not say.)

Viewers of Thursday’s dueling network town halls with President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. — which aired simultaneously in prime time, much to civic-minded critics’ chagrin — were treated to a pair of telecasts as starkly different as the candidates they featured.

On a night when Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump had been scheduled to meet on a single debate stage, television instead cleaved in two. Mr. Biden’s ABC town hall had all the fireworks of a vintage episode of “This Week With David Brinkley.” Mr. Trump’s NBC forum had all the subtlety of a professional wrestling match.

The election may hinge on which type of programming Americans want to spend the next four years watching.

Ms. Guthrie, an anchor on “Today,” welcomed viewers with a friendly greeting — “We want to say, right off the top, this is not how things were supposed to go tonight” — that only hinted at the stakes for her and her network.

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There was no debate on Thursday because Mr. Trump withdrew, refusing to commit to a virtual matchup. Mr. Biden agreed to an ABC town hall, and NBC booked Mr. Trump for the same night — and the same time, prompting a furious backlash. NBC stars like Mandy Moore denounced the network, and the MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow chastised her bosses on the air.

But if Mr. Trump expected an easy night on NBC, former home to his show “The Apprentice,” he did not anticipate Ms. Guthrie, whose background as a former litigator quickly came in handy.

In an out-of-the-gate barrage, Ms. Guthrie pressed Mr. Trump repeatedly on his medical condition, if he had taken a coronavirus test before the first presidential debate, if he would denounce white supremacy and if he opposed QAnon — questions that Mr. Trump, who typically sits down with friendly interviewers, had avoided facing.

The president is a skilled dodger who has outmaneuvered his interlocutors for four years. But Ms. Guthrie repeatedly interrupted his filibuster attempts, throwing Mr. Trump off kilter.

“I just don’t know about QAnon,” the president protested at one point, declining to criticize the fringe conspiracy group. “You do know!” Ms. Guthrie shot back, respectful but relentless.

At another moment, Mr. Trump brandished a sheaf of papers to rebut a point — “I have things right here that will show you exactly the opposite!” — Ms. Guthrie revealed her own set of documents. “Me, too!” she retorted.

After 20 minutes of Ms. Guthrie’s grilling, Mr. Trump’s advisers appeared concerned. His communications director, Alyssa Farah, approached Ms. Guthrie during the first commercial break, and then joined three other aides gathered with the president onstage.

Even as Ms. Guthrie solicited questions from voters, she kept up the pressure, cajoling Mr. Trump into a sidelong acknowledgment of a New York Times report about his $400 million debt load, which he previously had refused to confirm. And she confronted him with a concern that even some of his allies share: “You’re the president,” Ms. Guthrie said. “You’re not someone’s crazy uncle who can retweet whatever.”

On ABC, the mood was different. Mr. Biden and Mr. Stephanopoulos engaged in a sober policy conversation more suited to a Sunday morning public-affairs broadcast.

Seated on a drab blue set, legs crossed, the men discussed the pandemic, taxes, the environment and the Supreme Court. When Mr. Stephanopoulos followed up on the effect of the coronavirus on the Democrat’s tax plans — “Mr. Vice President, let me press you on that” — Mr. Biden replied: “Absolutely. That’s a great question.” He went on to cite a study from the financial firm Moody’s.

Later, when Mr. Stephanopoulos nudged Mr. Biden to wrap up an answer, the candidate apologized. “Not at all,” Mr. Stephanopoulos responded politely.

The tone tensed up when Mr. Biden declined, as he has several times, to fully explain his view on expanding the Supreme Court. “Don’t voters have a right to know where you stand?” Mr. Stephanopoulos asked.

That did not keep the Republican strategist Ari Fleischer from complaining about what he deemed an overly easy night for Mr. Biden. “NBC is an interrogation,” he wrote on Twitter. “ABC is a picnic.” Sean Hannity, on Fox News, was more explicit in accusing Ms. Guthrie of bias, saying she interrupted Mr. Trump too often.

Critics of NBC are likely to argue that Mr. Trump, despite the grilling, still enjoyed a full hour of prime-time across NBC, MSNBC and CNBC, the networks that simulcast his town hall. And all after he refused to attend the scheduled debate with Mr. Biden.

Moments after the Trump event wrapped up, Ms. Maddow greeted her MSNBC viewers with brow firmly arched. “Well,” she declared, “that happened.”

Tiffany Hsu contributed reporting.

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Zara rescues the supermarket trolleys and makes them fashionable

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October 20, 2020 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Grupo Inditex and its Zara brand caused a sensation on social networks after the launch of its new collection, which included two articles almost in disuse. These are two foldable supermarket trolleys made of gray and gold-khaki padded fabric that are part of their new collection.

These products, whose price is 49.95 euros each, became the object of desire of the Spaniards, who sold out the article within a few hours of its launch, so it is expected that they will be available again soon.

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The two carts are added to several models of reusable and folding cloth bags that the brand sold for 13 euros and that seek to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, more so now that World Environment Day is approaching.

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German carmakers report unexpectedly strong profit, but the pandemic still threatens.

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The German auto industry is bouncing back strongly from the pandemic as customers make purchases they postponed earlier in the year, earnings reports by BMW and Daimler indicate. Strong economic growth in China, a crucial market for both vehicle makers, has also helped.

But analysts say the miniboom may not last. Infections in Europe and the United States are surging, endangering sales in those two essential car markets. The profit figures “look too good to be sustainable,” Tim Rokossa, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a note, referring to Daimler.

BMW said late Monday that its free cash flow, a measure of profit, quadrupled to 3 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Daimler said last week that operating profit rose to €3 billion in the quarter from €2.7 billion a year earlier.

Neither company disclosed net profit in the preliminary earnings reports. Daimler will issue a detailed earnings report on Friday and BMW will do so on Nov. 4.

German carmakers have a strong influence on the economic fate of Europe. Cars and trucks are Germany’s biggest export, and German carmakers buy components from all over the continent.

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Berkshire Hathaway will pay $4.1 million to settle allegations of Iran sanctions violations.

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WASHINGTON — Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate owned by Warren Buffett, will pay $4.1 million to the Treasury Department to settle allegations that the company and one of its Turkish subsidiaries violated American sanctions against Iran, department officials said Tuesday in a statement.

Treasury officials said that Berkshire Hathaway’s Turkish subsidiary Iscar Kesici Takim Ticareti ve Imalati Limited Sirket, known as Iscar Turkey, allegedly sold 144 shipments of goods — including cutting tools and disposable inserts — from December 2012 to January 2016 to two intermediary companies knowing they would be resold in Iran.

The transactions, valued at $383,443, violated U.S. sanctions that prohibit American companies from doing business with Tehran. Treasury officials said that Iscar Turkey violated Berkshire’s compliance policies and also “took steps to obfuscate its dealings with Iran, including concealing these activities from Berkshire.”

Iscar Turkey is a unit of IMC International Metalworking Cos., which is based in Israel. In 2006, Berkshire Hathaway bought 80 percent of IMC for $4 billion. In 2013, it bought the remaining 20 percent for $2 billion.

Representatives from Berkshire Hathaway did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The settlement comes as part of the Trump administration’s effort to exert pressure on Iran, including reimposing sanctions and enforcing penalties on companies that do business with Tehran.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 18 Iranian banks, effectively locking Iran out of the global financial system and further cratering its already collapsing economy.

The Trump administration last month also unilaterally restored international economic penalties on Tehran that much of the rest of the world has refused to enforce. It also said it was reimposing United Nations sanctions against Iran over the fierce objection of American allies, in part to keep a global arms embargo in place beyond its expiration date of Oct. 18.

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