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  • 2020 Watch: And the Democratic veepstakes winner is? news

    Democrat Joe Biden is on the verge of picking a running mate, if he hasn't already, a decision that is likely the most significant of his decades-long political career. Trump spent much of last week decrying the expected surge in mail voting during the pandemic, going so far as to suggest delaying the election date. While congressional leaders in both parties slapped down the idea, Trump did not back away from the shocking suggestion or his baseless claims that the 2020 election will be rigged against him.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 05:34:44 -0400
  • 4 doctors in states seeing a resurgence of coronavirus cases say more young people are getting sick, and blame 'pandemic fatigue' for the uptick news

    Insider spoke to four doctors in Chicago, Houston and south Florida. All these areas have become new hotspots in the US coronavirus outbreak.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 05:02:00 -0400
  • Homeland Security official reassigned after intelligence reports on journalists covering protests news

    A US intelligence official with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been reassigned following revelations that his office compiled "intelligence reports" on journalists and analysed communications between protesters amid ongoing demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.Brian Murphy was removed from his post following a report in The Washington Post revealing that the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis sent open source intelligence reports to federal law enforcement agencies containing information from two reporters who had published leaked unclassified government documents while covering Black Lives Matter protests.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:34:14 -0400
  • Mexico arrests 'El Marro,' gang leader at the center of a bloody cartel war news

    Mexican authorities say they have detained José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, alias 'El Marro,' the alleged leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 15:32:40 -0400
  • Democratic congressman calls out maskless GOP colleagues after positive coronavirus test news

    Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) on Saturday announced he is the latest member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19. The 72-year-old congressman, who said he currently has no symptoms and feels fine, had been isolating after coming into contact with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.Grijalva did not call Gohmert out by name, but said that this week has revealed the consequences of the actions of Republican lawmakers who have gone to work at the Capitol without wearing a mask and taking the virus seriously, something which Gohmert has been accused of throughout the pandemic.> Grijalva added: “Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families.”> > — Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 1, 2020Three lawmakers, including Grijalva, were self-isolating after exposure to Gohmert. One of the others, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) has since tested negative for the virus.More stories from The housing crisis is here 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice The Lincoln Project celebrates Portland's Wall of Moms. The Wall of Moms is splintering.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 13:44:00 -0400
  • Airbnb cracks down on New Jersey 'party houses' as COVID-19 spreads among young people news

    Within the last few weeks, large indoor house parties across New Jersey, including Airbnb rentals, have been blamed for spikes in COVID-19 cases.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 19:18:46 -0400
  • Arctic expedition cruise ship hit by Covid-19 outbreak news

    A Covid-19 outbreak has hit an Arctic cruise ship, forcing hundreds of passengers into quarantine. Thirty-six crew members of the ship, which is operated by the first firm to resume international cruises in the wake of the pandemic, have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said over the weekend. Arriving at the northern Norwegian port of Tromso from the archipelago of Svalbard, the crew of the MS Roald Amundsen was quarantined on board the ship on Friday after four staff members tested positive for the virus and were hospitalised. Of the 158 crew members on board, 36 are infected, Pal Jakobsen, media officer for the city of Tromso said, confirming a development that raises fears of a resurgence of cases in Norway. Some 400 passengers from two cruises to Svalbard in July now face going into quarantine, while over the weekend the company scrambled to contact 20 passengers they were not immediately able to reach. The ship's company Hurtigruten had earlier indicated 33 positive tests. The infected crew were all Filipino apart from three people from France, Norway and Germany.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:43:56 -0400
  • Southern California wildfire forces thousands to evacuate news

    The Apple fire in Riverside County, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, burned through 12,000 acres and was 0 percent contained Saturday night.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 23:28:00 -0400
  • Connie Culp, 1st US partial face transplant recipient, dies news

    Connie Culp, the recipient of the first partial face transplant in the U.S., has died at 57, almost a dozen years after the groundbreaking operation.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 15:30:01 -0400
  • Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns news

    Sturgis is on. The message has been broadcast across social media as South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, braces to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 09:48:57 -0400
  • Vietnam says the new strain of coronavirus behind its ominous COVID-19 spike is 3 times more contagious news

    Vietnam's latest surge, which started July 25, ended a 99-day streak of no new cases. The country previously warned it cannot handle a mass outbreak.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 05:53:51 -0400
  • James Clyburn: Trump doesn't plan to 'give up the office' news

    Rep. James Clyburn defended his recent comments saying President Trump "thinks that the American people will be duped by him, like the people of Germany was duped by Adolf Hitler."

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:36:30 -0400
  • Crashed plane packed with cocaine was bound for Australia, police say news

    The overloaded plane - which had over 500kg of cocaine on board - crashed shortly after take-off.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 12:02:52 -0400
  • UK lobbies US to support controversial new nuclear warheads news

    Letter from defence secretary seen by Guardian draws Britain into debate pitting Trump administration against many DemocratsThe UK has been lobbying the US Congress in support of a controversial new warhead for Trident missiles, claiming it is critical for “the future of Nato as a nuclear alliance”.A letter from Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, seen by the Guardian, urged Congress to support initial spending on the warhead, the W93.The letter, sent in April but not previously reported, draws the UK into a US political debate, pitting the Trump administration against many Democrats and arms control groups over whether the the $14bn W93 programme is necessary. The US navy already has two warheads to choose from for its submarine-launched Trident missiles.The close cooperation on the W93 casts further doubt on the genuine independence of the UK deterrent – parliament first heard about it when US officials accidentally disclosed Britain’s involvement in February – and the commitment of both countries to disarmament.The UK is also supporting the administration’s efforts to speed up work on the warhead and its surprise $53m request for initial weapon design work in the 2021 budget, two years ahead of the previous schedule.Sceptics believe the rush is intended to lock in funding before the election. A Biden administration would be likely to review or even cancel the W93 programme.“These are challenging times, but it is crucial that we demonstrate transatlantic unity and solidarity in this difficult period,” Wallace told members of the House and Senate armed services committees. “Congressional funding in [2021] for the W93 program will ensure that we continue to deepen the unique nuclear relationship between our two countries, enabling the United Kingdom to provide safe and assured continuous-at-sea deterrence for decades to come.”The British intervention comes as the initial funding for the warhead hangs in the balance. It was approved by the House and Senate armed services committees but blocked at least temporarily, by a House energy and water subcommittee last month.Congressional staffers said they could not recall such a direct UK intervention in a US debate on nuclear weapons.“We’ve never had a letter of this sort before, so it was a little bit surprising that this is the issue that they chose to weigh in on,” a committee aide said. The UK insists its Trident nuclear deterrent is autonomous, but the two countries share the same missiles and coordinate work on warheads. The current UK Trident warhead, the Holbrook, is very similar to the W76 warhead, one of two the US navy uses in its own Trident II missiles.The US and UK versions of the W93 are also expected to resemble each other closely. Both countries will use the same new MK7 aeroshell, the cone around the warhead that allows it to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, which will cost another several hundred million dollars.Little has been disclosed about the W93, but it is thought to be based on a design that was tested during the cold war but not made part of the US stockpile at the time. It will potentially be the first new warhead design in the US stockpile since the cold war and is expected to be of considerably higher yield than the current W76, which is already six times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima 75 years ago next week.The demand for funding for the W93 is particularly controversial in the US as the W76 and a higher-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead, the W88, have already been subject to multibillion-dollar upgrades.“This is excess on top of excess,” Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said. “We already have two SBLM warheads. The W76 just went through a major life extension programme and is slated to be good into the early 2040s, and the W88 is going through a major alteration.“The US can continue to assist the UK’s arsenal without rushing the development of an unnecessary, at least $14bn new-design, third SLBM warhead,” Reif added.The total cost of the US nuclear weapons modernisation programme is expected to be far in excess of $1tn.The US and Russia, which is also upgrading its arsenal and developing new weapons, together account for more than 90% of all the nuclear warheads on the planet, and both countries are putting increasing emphasis on them in their rhetoric and defence postures.Under Donald Trump, the US has now left three nuclear agreements and his administration is reluctant to extend the last major arms control deal with Russia, the 2010 New Start treaty, which is due to expire in February.The bonfire of nuclear accords, combined with the huge amounts spent on weapons like the W93, are a threat to the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the fundamental bargain by which countries without nuclear arms pledged not to acquire them on condition the recognised nuclear powers (the US, UK, France, Russia and China) took steps to disarm, under article six of the treaty.“When I look at something like the W93, it’s not, in and of itself, a violation of article six,” said Daniel Joyner, a University of Alabama law professor specializing in nuclear treaties. “It’s just a further data point to evidence, the current non-compliance of the US and UK with article six.”In his letter to the congressional committees, Wallace wrote: “Your support to the W93 program in this budget cycle is critical to the success of our replacement warhead programme and to the long-term viability of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and therefore, the future of Nato as a nuclear alliance.”Alexandra Bell, a former state department official and now senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said the US-UK special relationship had shown greater solidarity in promoting new weapons than in arms control.“The UK is noticeably missing when it comes to emphatic support for New Start extension, but yet at the same time it feels comfortable directly telling members of Congress what they should do about our own modernization plans,” Bell said. “I think that’s weird.”Asked about the purpose of Wallace’s letter, a UK defense ministry spokesman said: “The UK’s existing warhead is being replaced in order to respond to future threats and guarantee our security. We have a strong defence relationship with the US and will work closely with our ally to ensure our warhead remains compatible with the US’s Trident missile.”According to official figures, the US W76 warhead is viable until 2045 at least - and the UK version is expected to last until the late 2030’s, so there is no urgent technical need for replacement.Greg Mello, executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, said nuclear weapons hawks at the Pentagon, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Los Alamos National Laboratory were pushing to lock in spending in case there is a change of administration.“They would like to get this program endorsed by Congress this year, and they’re very close to it,” Mello said. “Once it is a programme of record, it will take more for a future administration to knock it out.”

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 11:48:48 -0400
  • Florida man once bitten by alligator is chomped by 8-foot shark while on vacation news

    Justin Stuller is now sporting two dozen stitches and a small limp after tangling with an eight-foot lemon shark in the Florida Keys.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 21:41:44 -0400
  • Transcript: Mark Meadows on "Face the Nation" news

    The following is a transcript of an interview with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that aired Sunday, August 2, 2020, on "Face the Nation."

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:21:11 -0400
  • Scientists and environmental groups 'alarmed' by huge rise in Amazon wildfires news

    “It’s a terrible sign,” said Ane Alencar, science director at Brazil’s Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM).

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:43:00 -0400
  • A Black Lives Matter mural is set to be removed in Tulsa after the city received a request for a pro-police painting news

    "Allowing one group to paint messages on the street means everyone would be able to do so," Tulsa City attorney said, adding that murals shouldn't be allowed for safety reasons.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 15:09:57 -0400
  • China seeks to increase influence in South China Sea by reclassifying international shipping lanes news

    China has changed how it identifies a vast stretch of international waters in a shipping regulation, indicating it as a “coastal” region, rather than “offshore,” as authorities seek to exert even greater control over the South China Sea. The amended regulation, first drafted in the 1970s, went into effect on Saturday, and establishes a “navigation area” from China’s Hainan island in the south, all the way down to the disputed Paracel Islands, which sit east of Vietnam’s coastline. The revision, however small, allows Beijing yet another avenue to justify its claims in the region. “It’s certainly aimed at solidifying sovereignty assertion over the waters,” wrote Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, online. The change comes as China has displayed increasing swagger in the South China Sea, where Beijing and a number of Southeast Asian countries all lay claim to the rocks, reefs and waters. China has been accused of stepping up its maritime push in these resource-rich waters while the rest of the world remains busy battling the coronavirus pandemic. The US and Australia conducted joint naval exercises this summer in the region, angering Beijing.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 06:31:08 -0400
  • An Arizona congressman who tested positive for the coronavirus criticized Republican lawmakers for refusing to wear masks in the Capitol news

    Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday but is currently asymptomatic.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 06:35:00 -0400
  • Hurricane Heads for Florida—Just as Coronavirus Deaths Hit New Record news

    As Florida struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic that has killed at least 7,000 residents, state officials are now scrambling to deal with another dueling disaster gaining momentum: Hurricane Isaias. “It’s just another thing to add to the torture,” Inez Cruz, a teacher in Palm Beach County, told the Washington Post. “It’s another worry on top of what we already had.”While Isaias weakened to a tropical storm on Saturday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said the natural disaster is expected to regain hurricane strength as it approaches Florida. It is estimated to make landfall in southeast Florida late Saturday or early Sunday as a Category 1 storm after drawing strength from the warmer waters in the Gult Stream. After battering Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the center of the now Category 1 hurricane hit the Bahamas Saturday afternoon. Maximum sustained winds increased to 8o mph, snapping trees and knocking out power. Estimations, however, show the hurricane’s forward motion has slowed to 12 mph as it continues to move northwest. President Donald Trump on Saturday approved an emergency declaration for affected Florida counties to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide relief efforts if needed. “The situation remains fluid and can change quickly,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a Saturday press conference.But the duel emergencies bearing down on Florida are complicating each other. State-run coronavirus testing sites have been shut down in areas likely to be hit by the hurricane and, while normal protocol would call for mass evacuations and community shelters, hurricane evacuation centers are ripe for coronavirus outbreaks.On Friday, Florida set a record for single-day deaths for the fourth consecutive day. The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported 179 deaths overnight, bringing the state’s death toll to 7,022. There were 9,642 new infections, adding to a state-wide total of 480,028. Saturday’s tally was slightly lower than Friday’s, which saw a record-breaking 257 deaths. ‘Pro-Life’ Group Plans 1,300-Person Conference in Virus’ Deadly PathThe state has, however, reported less than 10,000 positive cases for the last seven days, following several record-high days in early July. Florida now has the second-highest number of cases in the country, behind California, with a positive test rate of about 12 percent. But state officials are now shifting their attention away from the pandemic, and toward the incoming natural disaster. Officials in Palm Beach County on Friday ordered all city recreation facilities, including beaches, to be closed, and opened six emergency evacuation shelters for residents who live in mobile homes or low-income housing. “It’s certainly unprecedented,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner said on Friday. “It’s the first time any of us in the [Emergency Operations Center] are aware of, that we’ve had two separate standing states of emergency for two separate issues. But we’re laser-focused on both. We’ll work hard to take whatever is thrown at us.”He said that shelters will have a strict mask mandate and social distancing rules, and residents will be screened before entering.  “I hope this storm doesn’t present a bump in the road in terms of our community response,” he said, adding that law enforcement would be present in shelters to enforce the rules. “We’re starting to see the effects of robust mask-wearing and social distancing, so I’ll be reminding my constituents to remain vigilant and cognizant that this is going on in a pandemic, and we don’t want to retreat from the progress we’ve made.”In Miami, Mayor Carlos Giménez also closed beaches and marinas and put nearly two dozen evacuation centers on standby, but said they would be configured to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Trump has also reportedly canceled a campaign event scheduled for Saturday in Miami-Dade at his Doral golf resort.“We still don’t think there is a need to open shelters for this storm, but they are ready,” Giménez told the Associated Press on Friday, adding that the shelters would give every individual about 40 square feet of space. DeSantis Says Florida Has a COVID-19 ‘Blip.’ Nurses Say It’s Far Worse.The shelters will also not serve cafeteria food to abide by social distancing. Infected evacuees will be isolated in rooms separate from the general population. On Friday, DeSantis declared a state of emergency for counties along the state’s east coast, urging residents to remain vigilant and prepare emergency kits with a week’s worth of supplies. A hurricane watch has also been put into effect from Hallandale Beach to Boca Raton, as well as a storm-surge watch from Jupiter to Ponte Vedra Beach.Stressing that the state is “fully prepared,” the Republican governor added that some state-run coronavirus testing sites would be closed. “Our sites, because they're outdoors with tents, if it were to get 40-, 50-mile-per-hour winds, it would just collapse,” he said Friday, adding that the state is prepared to open shelters and has created a reserve of PPE for the hurricane season. “Safety is paramount for that.”DeSantis said Florida had built a stockpile of 22 million gloves, 20 million masks, 10 million gowns, 1.6 million face shields, 270,000 coveralls and 20,000 thermometers for impacted areas.He said Trump approved his emergency declaration request after attending a roundtable on coronavirus and storm preparedness in Tampa on Friday evening. “I want Floridians to know, the state of Florida is fully prepared for this and any future storm during this hurricane season,” DeSantis said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 12:51:18 -0400
  • Verdict looms in killing of Lebanon ex-PM Hariri news

    A UN-backed tribunal will give its verdict Friday on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri, but questions will remain over a long and costly trial whose suspects remain at large. Four alleged members of the Shiite Muslim fundamentalist group Hezbollah are on trial in absentia at the court in the Netherlands over the huge Beirut suicide bombing that killed Sunni billionaire Hariri and 21 other people. The judgment harks back to an event that changed the face of the Middle East, with Hariri's assassination triggering a wave of demonstrations that pushed Syrian forces out of Lebanon after 30 years.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 05:58:07 -0400
  • Kurt Knutsson breaks down best beer cooler tech news

    Kurt 'The CyberGuy' Knutsson joins 'Fox and Friends Weekend.'

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:00:22 -0400
  • Omar, seeking 2nd term, is targeted for her celebrity news

    As Democrat Antone Melton-Meaux meandered through racks of headscarves and clouds of spice and pepper, he carried a pointed message to the voters he courted at the city’s largest Somali market: I want to focus on the work, not being famous. Omar, a liberal Democrat, made history two years ago as the first Somali-American elected to Congress and went on to make countless headlines for making controversial statements on Israel, for tangling with President Donald Trump and for a personal life that became tabloid fodder. All the attention has helped make Omar a progressive star, but it’s also drawn criticism and a surprisingly strong primary challenger in Melton-Meaux.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:09:17 -0400
  • Phyllis Omido: The woman who won $12m fighting lead battery poisoners news

    Kenyan activist Phyllis Omido has been ignored, harassed and arrested, but she never gave up.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 03:52:17 -0400
  • Staples customer who told woman to wear mask is thrown to ground, has broken leg news

    Margot Kagan, who recently had a liver transplant and was walking with a cane, was thrown to the ground by another customer she had told to wear a mask.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 09:51:44 -0400
  • Texas will now allow people taking the bar exam to bring their own menstrual products news

    The Texas Board of Law Examiners will allow test-takers to bring their own menstrual products after previously forbiding them over security concerns.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:19:09 -0400
  • What we know about schoolkids and coronavirus news

    As schools and parents struggle with the decision to reopen in-person classes, what do we know about kids' vulnerability? Here's everything you need to know:Can children get COVID-19? Yes, but the evidence strongly suggests that children are less prone to infection by the coronavirus than adults. Those under 18 account for about 6 percent of confirmed cases in the U.S., despite constituting some 22 percent of the population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That figure is somewhat higher than numbers from China, where children and teens accounted for 2.2 percent of confirmed cases, Italy (1.2 percent), and Spain (0.8 percent). A study published in Nature in June found that children and teenagers were about half as likely as adults to get infected by the virus. "It seems, consistently, children do have lower rates of infection than adults," said Alison Tribble, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Michigan. Some doctors, however, believe pediatric infections are significantly undercounted because they're often asymptomatic. New data from hard-hit states, including Arizona and Mississippi, have shown children accounting for some 10 percent of cases.Can children get seriously ill? In rare cases. But the Nature study found that among those between 10 and 19, only 21 percent showed any symptoms at all. Hospitalizations are rare among the young, and deaths rarer still; as of July 22, the COVKID Project, which tracks pediatric figures in the U.S., counted 77 deaths among the young from a total of more than 144,000 deaths overall, and just over 800 intensive-care admissions. Over a three-month period ending in May, one study found only 44 deaths among children and teenagers across France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.; during that period there were 13,000 pediatric deaths from normal causes. A small number of children who've contracted COVID have been afflicted with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, an immune response that causes severe inflammation throughout the body, attacking the blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and other organs. The New England Journal of Medicine counted approximately 1,000 victims worldwide, with a median age of 8.Why are children less vulnerable? It's "a huge puzzle," said Nicholas Davies, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. But there are several theories. One is that children's cells have fewer of the ACE2 receptors the coronavirus latches on to in order to launch an infection. Another theory is that since kids are frequently infected with the relatively benign coronaviruses that cause common colds, those infections generate a level of "cross-immunity" to the new coronavirus. The many immunizations children get may have a similar spillover protective effect. Yet another possibility is that children's immune systems are simply stronger and better suited to fighting the virus, in ways that aren't clear. And some hypothesize that children are better equipped to fight off novel pathogens, as they're constantly called on to do it. "Everything an infant sees, or a young child sees, is new," said Donna Farber, an immunologist at Columbia University.Can children infect others? This is the million-dollar question. Numerous studies from Europe and Asia have suggested children pass the disease on to others at a lower rate than adults. In a study of 39 Swiss households infected with COVID, children were suspected of having been the source in only three. In a French study, an infected boy exposed more than 80 classmates to the virus — and none contracted it. "The data are striking," pediatric disease specialist William Raszka wrote in the journal Pediatrics in July, citing these studies and three others. "The key takeaway is that children are not driving the pandemic." But age seems to be a key factor: A new, large-scale study from South Korea found a significant difference between children under 10 and teens.What is the difference? The study confirmed that younger children are significantly less likely to spread the virus — but found those between 10 and 19 transmit the virus at similar rates to adults. That lines up with evidence offered by reopened schools in Israel, New Zealand, and France, where the largest outbreaks have been in middle and high schools. A study of French schools by a scientist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris found that the risk of infection was much greater in high schools than in elementary schools. "We need to make sure to differentiate between young and older children," said Alyssa Bilinski, a Harvard doctoral student who's studying school outbreaks. "By the time you reach high school, the risk of infection is pretty indistinguishable from young adults." And even if young children have a much lower risk of infection and transmission, experts warn, there will inevitably be some outbreaks in schools. Kids aren't a "bubbled population," said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota. "There will be transmission" in schools, and "we have to include that in our plans."The school experience abroad Schools offer the best opportunity to study transmission among the young — and there the evidence is mixed. A number of European countries, including Germany, Norway, and Denmark, have reopened schools without incident; researchers in Australia, Ireland, and Finland have also found no evidence of school spread in those countries. Most of these schools adopted some social-distancing approaches. But schools have had to close after outbreaks in China, South Korea, and most notably Israel, where more than 100 schools were shut in early June due to outbreaks that infected over 2,000 students and staff members. Experts say that many factors affect school spread, including class size and whether kids wear masks and socially distance. The rate of infection in the community can also play a major role. No country with rates anywhere near those of say, Los Angeles, Phoenix, or Miami has attempted school reopenings, so there's no model for what might result in places where classroom learning returns this fall. "Schools will now be the experiment," said Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "We will see what happens."This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.More stories from The housing crisis is here 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice The Lincoln Project celebrates Portland's Wall of Moms. The Wall of Moms is splintering.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 05:55:02 -0400
  • The former head of the FDA warned that the Northeast will likely get hit with another wave of coronavirus cases, saying the virus continues to 'rotate through different parts of the country' news

    "It's going to be this slow burn, unfortunately, for the rest of the year," the former FDA commissioner said.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 22:03:39 -0400
  • Thousands evacuate as Apple Fire grows in Southern California news

    About 7,800 people have been ordered to leave their homes as of Sunday.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 09:13:41 -0400
  • Portland, America's 'whitest' big city, is an unlikely hub of Black Lives Matter news

    Portland, Ore., where more than 72% of the population is white, has been transformed into a national center of the movement for racial justice.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 07:30:25 -0400
  • ‘The Swamp’ Exposes Just How Much Republican Matt Gaetz Kisses Trump’s Butt news

    Spoiler alert: Contrary to his stated intentions, President Donald Trump has not “drained the swamp,” but has in fact amplified D.C. corruption and special-interest power—currently, more than 300 lobbyists have seats in his administration—unseen in modern times. The Swamp understands and exposes this fact, and yet Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme’s HBO documentary (premiering August 4) nonetheless tackles the issue of politics and money via a decidedly wishy-washy look at three of Trump’s staunchest faux-“renegade” GOP congressional acolytes: Colorado’s Ken Buck, Kentucky’s Thomas Massie and Florida’s perpetually sycophantic Matt Gaetz.It’s Gaetz who’ll likely be best known to viewers, thanks to a series of headline-making (and social media-inflaming) stunts, including tweeting out a not-so-veiled threat to congressional witness (and former Trump attorney) Michael Cohen, and leading a group of rabble-rousing Republicans on a raid of a closed-door impeachment hearing deposition. A perpetual fixture on Fox News, where he parrots Trump talking points in the most extremist fashion imaginable, he’s a young, eager go-getter who’s hitched his post to the current commander-in-chief. That’s certainly the figure depicted by DiMauro and Pehme’s film, which captures him articulating his staunch support in personal phone calls to the president (and is told, in return, “You’re doing fantastic…you’re tough and smart and you have the look”), as well as stating outright “I love him so much.” Throughout the film, Gaetz is repeatedly seen fawning all over Trump, receiving marching orders from the president and delivering near-daily progress reports. When Trump calls him “handsome,” the congressman acts like he’s won the lottery. John Oliver Unloads on ‘Idiot’ Trump for Endorsing Dr. Demon SpermNetflix Targets the ‘World’s Most Wanted’ CriminalsGiven his fawning admiration for the president, it’s predictable that Gaetz spends a lot of time in The Swamp criticizing D.C. venality at the hands of wealthy special interest groups, whose checkbooks are coveted by politicians wanting to maintain their membership in the party, and their position in committees. Gaetz, Massie and Buck’s dismay over this flawed paradigm is voiced at regular intervals throughout the film (set in 2018-2019), as is a greater desire for bipartisanship, which Gaetz himself partakes in alongside California’s Ro Khanna with their Khanna-Gaetz amendment designed to take unilateral war powers (specifically with regards to Iran) away from the president and return them to Congress. In this effort, as in their many censures of super PAC influence, the three come across as principled outliers committed to upending the “new normal” of donor-driven governance ushered in by Newt Gingrich in 1994.Like an introductory scene of Gaetz dressing and putting on makeup in the office work closet he calls home—the better to maximize his daily productivity, he says—such commentary is the trio’s (and film’s) means of casting them as hard-working against-the-grain mavericks. At the same time, though, directors DiMauro and Pehme fully recognize that these supposed rebels—and Gaetz in particular—are bald-faced hypocrites who don’t walk their own talk. While it’s true that, in 2020, Gaetz became the first Republican to swear off any campaign donations from super PACs (a worthwhile stand, to be sure), he otherwise comes across as a guy who doesn’t care that his beloved president is far from the reformer he claimed he would be on the campaign trail. First during the Mueller hearings and again throughout the impeachment process, Gaetz readily takes to his Fox News pulpit to rail against the “witch hunt” and Democrats, as well as to vilify immigrants as “criminals, thugs, special-interest aliens…jihadists,” habitually using the president’s very own polarizing language. He’s akin to a Trump ventriloquist dummy.The discrepancy between Gaetz’s anti-“swamp” pronouncements and his adulation of a leader whose entire Oval Office tenure has been designed to enrich himself is hard to ignore, and The Swamp certainly takes pains to underline it, as it does the dissonance between Buck and Massie’s avowed disgust for special interests and yet dubious connections to the NRA and the coal industry. Massie himself likens his congressional pin to The Lord of the Rings’ ring (because its limitless power is corrupting), and equates himself to Star Wars’ rebel fighters and Congress to the Death Star, and the nerdiness of the latter point is only outweighed by the silliness of the analogy, especially since Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale recently associated the president’s re-election as a villainous Death Star juggernaut ready to wipe out its enemies.Despite routinely pricking Gaetz and company for behaving in ways that are diametrically opposed to their declared values, The Swamp still spends considerable energy lavishing fond attention on them. Slow-motion shots of Gaetz strutting down D.C. streets, sunglasses on and the sun shining from behind him, contribute to puffing up his media-friendly persona as rock star-ish upstart contrarian driven to shake up the status quo. Since the film knows this isn’t really the case—at its conclusion, Gaetz votes along party lines for a military bill even though his beloved war powers amendment was cut out of it—the effect is to make one feel as if the directors want to have it both ways, obligated to critique their subject but not too harshly because, after all, Gaetz has granted them intimate access to his life in the first place.Only in interviews with Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig does The Swamp make a truly passionate case for the need for wide-scale lobbying reform—which came, most recently, in the form of Democrats’ H.R. 1 bill, which found few receptive Republican friends in the Senate. From climate change to military funding to gun control (to name only a few pressing national concerns), “none of these issues can be addressed sensibly until we address the deep corruption inside of our government,” he says. Without that, we’re doomed to deal with a system that turns politicians into fundraisers, and because “politics of hate is the most productive technique for fundraising we have,” that in turn leads to the hyper-polarization we see today.When it’s providing an insider’s view of the ways elected representatives are compelled—often willingly—to sell themselves to the highest bidder in order to maintain their sliver of power, The Swamp is a revealing and timely survey of our broken government. Where it stumbles, however, is in its choice of tour guides through that greedy bog—a collection of pretenders whose corruption-friendly actions speak far louder than their crusading words. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 03:39:52 -0400
  • Israel's Netanyahu rails at media over protests against him news

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday railed at swelling protests against his rule, saying they were egged on by a biased media that distorts facts and cheers on the demonstrators. Netanyahu has faced a wave of protests in recent weeks, with demonstrators calling for the resignation of the long-serving leader, who is on trial for corruption charges. Netanyahu has painted the protests as dens of “anarchists” and “leftists" out to topple “a strong right-wing leader.”

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 06:51:21 -0400
  • Emeritus Pope Benedict, 93, 'extremely frail' after visiting dying brother news

    Former pope Benedict XVI became seriously ill after visiting his sick brother in Germany in June and is "extremely frail", according to a report in the German Passauer Neue Presse newspaper on Monday. Benedict, 93, is suffering from erysipelas of the face - a virus that causes a facial rash and episodes of severe pain, the newspaper reported, citing the former pope's biographer Peter Seewald. "According to Seewald, the Pope emeritus is now extremely frail," the report said. "His thinking and his memory are quick, but his voice is hardly audible at the moment." Mr Seewald reportedly visited Benedict in Rome on Saturday to present him with his biography. "At the meeting the emeritus Pope, despite his illness, was optimistic and declared that if his strength increased again he would possibly take up his pen again," the paper said. Benedict visited his sick brother Georg in Germany in June, marking his first trip out of Italy since his shock resignation in 2013. Georg Ratzinger died just two weeks later, aged 96.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 00:25:50 -0400
  • India toxic alcohol: Dozens die in Punjab poisoning news

    Police make arrests and confiscate supplies of bootleg alcohol which killed at least 86 people.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 13:12:26 -0400
  • Dr. Deborah Birx says the US is in a new, 'more widespread' phase of the coronavirus pandemic news

    The White House coronavirus response coordinator told CNN that current outbreaks in the US are "different from March and April."

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 13:08:01 -0400
  • Washington State Trapped Its First 'Murder Hornet' news

    Trapping Asian giant hornets is a crucial component for catching and killing the invasive species

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 15:24:33 -0400
  • These 43-square-foot pods were originally for travelers to take a nap at the airport, but now the company is selling them for $50,000 each news

    NapCity's pods are modular and customizable, starting at $50,000.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva tests positive for COVID-19, is symptom-free news

    Rep. Raúl Grijalva has tested positive for COVID-19 after days in D.C. that included a hearing with Rep. Louie Gohmert, who also tested positive.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:58:29 -0400
  • A cartel war has transformed once-tranquil Guanajuato into one of Mexico's deadliest states news

    Homicides soar as two gangs battle it out in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 07:00:02 -0400
  • Biden has edge in North Carolina, race is tight in Georgia — CBS News poll news

    Concern about President Trump's handling of coronavirus pandemic is continuing to take a political toll on him.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:30:00 -0400
  • Rep. Jeff Van Drew: Democratic Party used to be more ‘moderate’ news

    New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew joins ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:19:30 -0400
  • Marine Corps Plan to Ditch Tanks Could Burden the Army, Experts Say news

    Some Marine Corps tank companies have cased their colors, winding up decades-long missions.

    Sat, 01 Aug 2020 10:14:46 -0400
  • Egypt tells Elon Musk its pyramids were not built by aliens news

    Egypt invited the billionaire to visit, after he appeared to tweet support for conspiracy theorists.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 08:10:19 -0400
  • South Africa's coronavirus case toll soars while Lagos continues phased reopening news

    South Africa has become the fifth nation to pass the grim milestone of half a million confirmed coronavirus cases, which account for more than 50 per cent of all Covid-19 infections on the continent of Africa. Zwelini Mkhezi, the health minister, announced a further 10,107 new cases on Saturday, meaning that the Rainbow Nation now only tails the USA, Brazil, Russia and India by number of infections, despite having a significantly smaller population. Despite the dizzying numbers, Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, said he sees “promising signs” that the alarming growth of cases is stabilising and the health care system in his country is coping in most areas. In a letter to the nation on Sunday, Mr Ramaphosa said that despite the high number of confirmed cases, he sees some positive developments. Most notably, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilizing in the provinces of the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng. Gauteng province has become the latest epicentre of the outbreak. Home to the capital, Pretoria, and the largest city, Johannesburg, Gauteng now has 35 per cent of the nation’s cases. Health experts warn that hospitals are struggling to cope and that the virus may not peak until late August or early September.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 08:48:53 -0400
  • Tear Gas, Identity Theft, and Burritos: The Chaos of Free Protest Food news

    For nearly a month, Riot Ribs served barbecue, tacos, jalapeno poppers—whatever they had on hand—from a series of tents near the site of ongoing protests in Portland, Oregon. Then, on Tuesday, the food collective announced an abrupt closure. Someone was impersonating the group and swindling money, members said.Riot Ribs was among an emerging network of mutual aid groups aimed at distributing free food to protesters and the homeless in Portland and Seattle, where rage over the police killing of George Floyd, racism, and U.S. law-enforcement has resulted in months of marches. But Riot Ribs’ sudden dissolution—the result of a former member allegedly going rogue—highlighted the challenges of the mission. Beset by local police, federal authorities, right-wing trolls, and friendlies-turned-grifters, the Pacific Northwest’s protest food groups have spent the past month struggling to do what should be one of the least controversial jobs there is: handing out free food. Launched on July 4, Riot Ribs was the latest in a series of food groups to pop up around racial justice protests. Some, like Seattle’s Riot Kitchen, began operations even earlier. The latter started as an initiative to feed the homeless and protesters around the temporarily police-free Capitol Hill Organized Protests (CHOP, previously CHAZ), but has outlasted the short-lived autonomous zone and continues dishing out meals to demonstrators.Maehem, Riot Kitchen’s founder (who, like many people interviewed for this article, requested anonymity amid police scrutiny of activists nationwide), said the project emerged in the first days of the George Floyd protests. That’s when she and friends marched for hours without eating and—after learning that other activists were also marching on empty stomachs—the former chef started a fund to make and distribute free sandwiches. The project exploded.Local Businesses Love the ‘Domestic Terror’ Zone in Seattle, Actually“So many people wanted to donate to my sandwich fund that I decided to turn it into a kitchen project. I was a sous chef, so I had the skills and resources to get hot meals to people,” Maehem told The Daily Beast. When the CHOP started, “people were choosing to sleep outside, so I thought the least I could do was cook them some breakfast.”Riot Ribs launched with a similar mission, opening up with a single grill. Its sole operator, an original Black Panther, was tear-gassed by police while he cooked the first night, the group told Bon Appetit.Tear gas would become an all-too-common feature of Portland protests, as federal agents waged nightly confrontations with protesters in a crackdown ostensibly aimed at protecting federal buildings that was best known for throwing people into unmarked vans. But Riot Ribs appeared to be a particular focus of law enforcement ire. Unlike Riot Kitchen and another Portland group called Resistance Assistance—which currently assemble food off-site and bring it to protests—Riot Ribs was a full-time encampment. On July 16, the collective tweeted that members had been arrested by police who declared the park where they camped to be “under renovation.” Police hauled away their growing operation, which had expanded to include multiple grills, coolers, and donated money.Days later, Riot Ribs tweeted that law enforcement had deliberately damaged their food and supplies.“Everyone needs to know that they’re targeting us. They slashed our cases of water bottles; broke one tent only (one of our cooks); broke open our snacks and sprayed them with tear gas as well,” the group tweeted. “All of our grills were purposely pepper sprayed on the inside last night. We need new grills.”Other mutual aid groups in the Pacific Northwest also reported rough treatment by police. A member of The Witches, a Portland group that distributes food and first aid, said their tent and nearby tents used by unhoused people were deliberately destroyed one night.“Some sort of blade was taken to them, slashed them beyond repair, and chemicals were poured on sleeping bags,” R, a Witches member who declined to provide their name, told The Daily Beast. “There’s no nice way to say it, but it’s definitely fed troops.” But, they added, “even before that, we had carts full of snacks and water taken by the Portland Police Bureau.”The Witches tweeted a picture of what they said was a supply tent trashed by federal agents.The Portland Police Bureau and the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.But some antagonism came from far-right civilians. “We’ve had white supremacists follow us home,” R said of The Witches. And on social media, right-wingers repeatedly accused Riot Ribs of terrorism, with some threatening to call the health department on the group. Multiple fraudulent accounts posed as them online—in one case observed by The Daily Beast, imposters used a fake Riot Ribs account to post the home address of a Portland journalist currently being targeted by the right. Riot Kitchen and Portland Resistance Assistance members likewise said they had experienced some degree of harassment online.Alexander Reid Ross, a Portland State University professor and author of Against the Fascist Creep, said right-wing opposition views groups like Riot Ribs not just as potent symbols of the racial justice protests, but also lefty economic projects.“I think that the rage is largely directed at the protest movement, itself, rather than free food, but the loathing of communism is certainly at the core of both,” Reid Ross told The Daily Beast.Lefty food collectives are a longtime lightning rod for controversy, Reid Ross noted, pointing to Food Not Bombs, a 40-year-old mutual aid group. The group, which served free food at protests as well as to the homeless, has been subject to decades of crackdowns. Its co-founder recently told Teen Vogue that he’d been arrested nearly 100 times in incidents connected to Food Not Bombs. In a move that foreshadowed President Donald Trump’s rage at supposed anarchists in Portland, the FBI investigated some Food Not Bombs members for their connection to the anarchist prison-support group Anarchist Black Cross in 2004. “If you look at past examples like Food Not Bombs, which serves free food to anyone who wants it at public places like parks around the world, they’ve often been targeted by police, and to a lesser extent, right wingers, for contributing to a kind of social disruption,” Reid Ross said.The problems multiplied in late July, when a Riot Ribs volunteer went rogue, the collective alleges. Riot Ribs hasn’t named the man (many participants in the ongoing protests do not believe in calling police), but accuse him of “verbally, physically, and/or sexually abusing other volunteers.”On Twitter, a former Riot Ribs volunteer accused the man of taking over the Riot Ribs tent “by force,” making unwanted advances on fellow volunteers, constantly using cocaine, screaming in colleagues’ faces, and secretly pocketing donations.The alleged embezzlement came at a sensitive moment for Riot Ribs. The collective had kept meticulous open logs of its income and expenses since July 7. With growing publicity, donations skyrocketed, surpassing $300,000. By July 24, Riot Ribs announced it was suspending donations, since it had received more than it could possibly use. (The group tweeted an urgent call for a business lawyer that day.)But the rogue volunteer allegedly set up social media accounts and online tip jars under Riot Ribs’ name, funneling all new donations to himself. “This individual began to try to ‘run’ Riot Ribs and set up an alternate CashApp and Twitter handle to continue operations in the park,” the group said in a statement. To make matters worse, the right-wingers who had plagued Riot Ribs’ Twitter mentions began promoting the imposter account, which has since changed its name.Riot Ribs said they abandoned their tents—and a plan to transfer ownership to the nonprofit Don’t Shoot PDX—due to the rogue’s presence. “We were violently assaulted as this individual forcibly removed everyone originally involved out of the park,” Riot Ribs said in its statement of dissolution. “For that reason, all original members of Riot Ribs are no longer in the park and do not feel safe continuing to feed people in Portland.”NYPD Perfected Chilling Arrests Way Before Feds in PortlandThe group has since pivoted to a pair of food vans, called Revolution Ribs, and distributed some of its funds to other mutual aid groups in the Pacific Northwest, $25,000 of which went to Seattle’s Riot Kitchen. Some of those groups indicated a desire to take their food projects on the road, too. Maehem, of Riot Kitchen, said she was thinking of buying a bus to caravan behind her food truck, in order to feed activists outside the city. Riot Ribs’ dissolution also came amid an announcement—and some early evidence—that federal agents would withdraw from Portland, although details remained murky as Trump and Acting Homeland Security Deputy Chad Wolf suggested otherwise. As the city prepares for the next phase in protests—activists have made clear that they will not leave the streets even if the feds have—some of Riot Ribs’ staff are taking the food project mobile in their new vans.Others “are still in Portland and will eventually go back into mutual aid and direct action,” the group said in a statement, and “some of us will be taking a very long, much needed break.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 03:52:41 -0400
  • Dr. Birx: Before schools can reopen, coronavirus outbreaks must get under control news

    Birx endorsed a recommendation from CDC Director Robert Redfield that schools in areas with a 5% positivity rate or higher stick to distance learning.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:57:48 -0400
  • Gym owners defy pandemic orders, break into own business closed by state and reopen it news

    Authorities closed the gym Monday, when they charged the owners with contempt and disorderly persons offenses.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 17:33:21 -0400
  • A Chicago Dunkin' worker was arrested on suspicion of spitting in a state trooper's coffee news

    The incident is the latest in a series of recent tensions between restaurant workers and police officers amid nationwide uprisings against racism.

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 11:19:23 -0400
  • Democrats warn GOP: Don't fill a 2020 Supreme Court vacancy news

    Senate talk of a potential — but uncertain — opening close to a presidential election has reignited a clash over the future of the court.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 04:30:48 -0400
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