National Security Adviser John Bolton (L) and Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton led a classified meeting Friday with top national security and military officials at the White House to simulate how to "deter and defeat" the "increasingly concerning threats" posed by U.S. adversaries in space, a White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting gives us a preview into who will be the leading voices on the president's Space Force, which hasn't been formally established yet.

Details: Participants included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Andrea Thompson, as well as other senior civilian leaders.

  • Several senior military leaders including the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva, Strategic Command Commander Gen. John Hyten, and European Command Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti were also present.
  • Pence is the chairman of the National Space Council.

The White House would not share the specific threats that the group was simulating during the meeting, citing "the classified nature of the exercise."

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Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, makes landfall on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta, classified as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now. Conservative Justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch wrote in a separate opinion that it's too close to the election to take up the case, but it could still be reviewed after the election if late-arriving ballots make a difference.

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Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.

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