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Most of the coronavirus tests the U.S. does are worthless. But there's a solution that could actually work — and stop the spread.
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:48:15 -0400
Although President Trump is correct that the U.S. has conducted more tests than any other country, it’s not testing enough, given the scale of its outbreak. But there might be a simple solution: new tests that prioritize speed over sensitivity.


Marijuana sent him to prison for decades. Now he has COVID-19 and is seeking release.
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:33:41 -0400
Michael Thompson, 69, is serving a 40- to 60-year sentence for charges that stem from a marijuana sale in 1994. His advocates say his punishment was excessive.


Trump news - China, Iran and Russia all exposed to be interfering in the US election as Covid rescue bill falters in Congress
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:04:00 -0400
President Donald Trump could issue executive orders to address student loans, jobless benefits and the eviction moratorium after talks with Congressional Democrats regarding a coronavirus relief bill broke down on Friday.A top US counterintelligence official has issued a public statement saying that China and Iran prefer that president Donald Trump does not win re-election; while Russia is seeking to hurt former vice president Joe Biden’s electoral chances.


The Russian owner who abandoned the ship full of ammonium nitrate that caused the Beirut explosion has been questioned by police in Cyprus, reports say
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:47:13 -0400
Igor Grechushkin was questioned by Cyprus police on Thursday over the MV Rhosus, the ship that carried ammonium nitrate to Beirut, local reports say.


Letters to the Editor: Heads up, Joe Biden — Kamala Harris has always been campaigning for her next job
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 06:00:51 -0400
Kamala Harris is the junior senator from California, so what has she done for our state?


Over 100 quarantined in school district after several test positive for coronavirus
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:35:00 -0400
Six students and one staff member in the 2,700-student district have tested positive for the virus since school began July 27.


A Sampling of Work From Mexico City’s Top Talents 
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:00:00 -0400


Biden on congressional gridlock: 'If there's no way to move other than getting rid of the filibuster, that's what we'll do'
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 08:55:00 -0400
In an interview with representatives of the associations of Black and Hispanic journalists, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden showed a willingness to end the use of the legislative filibuster while maintaining it’s unlikely that such a measure would be necessary if he’s elected in November. He said that he expects the Democratic Party to win five to six seats in the Senate as well as the White House. Biden’s response is part of an interview that will air Thursday at the combined convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The convention is being held online this year due to the coronavirus.


Data shows Kansas counties with mask mandates have seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 22:47:56 -0400
Counties in Kansas that adopted a mask mandate have seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said.In late June, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) issued a statewide mask guidance, but because the Kansas legislature limited her emergency powers, each county was able to decide whether or not to enforce the order, KSHB reports. During a press conference on Wednesday, Norman said 15 counties went along with the order, while 90 decided to make wearing a mask a recommendation only."What we've seen through this is that in the counties with no mask mandate, there's no decrease in the number of cases per capita," Norman said. "All the improvement in the case development comes from those counties wearing masks."The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been interviewing people who have recovered from the virus, and Norman finds it worrisome how some can't seem to shake the symptoms, saying, "This serves to me as humbling, in many regards, and a reminder that we still know very little about this disease and its impact on the body."More stories from theweek.com Biden campaign reportedly making 'ruthless cuts' to convention speaking list Trump's latest fundraising attempt is reportedly a Facebook scam against his own supporters The case against American truck bloat


Gigabit broadband: Rural households urged to claim upgrade cash
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 19:50:18 -0400
The government's gigabit voucher scheme has £70m available to poorly served communities.


Utah protesters face charges with potential life sentence
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:36:12 -0400
Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City could face up to life in prison if they’re convicted of splashing red paint and smashing windows during a protest, a potential punishment that stands out among demonstrators arrested around the country and one that critics say doesn’t fit the alleged crime. Prosecutors said Wednesday that’s justified because the protesters worked together to cause thousands of dollars in damage, but watchdogs called the use of the 1990s-era law troubling, especially in the context of criminal justice reform and minority communities. “This is so far beyond just the enforcement of the law, it feels retaliatory,” said Madalena McNeil, who is facing a potential life sentence over felony criminal mischief and riot charges.


Appeals court rules for U.S. House over subpoena for ex-White House lawyer
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:39:37 -0400
A U.S. appeals court on Friday dealt the administration of President Donald Trump a major legal setback, ruling against its bid to block a Democratic-led congressional panel's subpoena for testimony from former White House Counsel Donald McGahn. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on a 7-2 vote said the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee had legal standing to seek to enforce the subpoena. "Today’s decision is a profound victory for the rule of law and our constitutional system of government," said Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the committee.


As legal battle over school reopening proceeds, DeSantis stresses importance of sports
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:33:12 -0400
Flanked by coaches, athletes and politicians, Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday used sports to emphasize his support of school reopenings.


Decades after they last saw each other, homecoming king and queen reunited by chance on a dating app
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:00:33 -0400
They were married on the 50-yard-line at Montclair State University's football stadium — where they were crowned homecoming royalty in 1992.


Oklahoma won't require masks in schools, so a teacher who's a 72-year-old cancer survivor is offering students extra credit to wear them
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:42:14 -0400
Oklahoma's board of education voted against requiring masks in schools, putting teachers and students at risk.


Putin’s Got Big Problems in Russia’s Provinces
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:37:22 -0400
MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—the Bolsheviks turned it into a hub for serving Siberian prison camps, in the middle of nowhere by design—is about as far from the seat of Russian power as geographically possible. But it’s suddenly at the center of Russian politics these days. For the past three weeks, thousands of people have come out daily in Khabarovsk to protest the country’s top-down rule, what President Vladimir Putin once called his “vertical of power. “Wake up, cities, our Motherland is in trouble,” protesters chanted in the rain one Friday evening. Banners that read, “Putin, you lost my trust!” and “Down with the Tsar!” floated above people’s heads.Despite the Kremlin’s best efforts to hide them, problems have been bubbling up in Russia’s provinces, transforming local issues into the most dynamic arena for dissent, protest, and opposition in the country’s political system and fueling Russia’s version of post-lockdown unrest.   The arrest of Khabarovsk’s popular regional governor sparked the anti-Putin uprising that has drawn up to 60,000 people into the streets in this usually sleepy backwater. The arrested governor was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, which had for years been loyal to Putin. Yet even the party’s leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, told The Daily Beast that the provincial protests could spread, as people are fed up with the lies and media manipulation in the Putin system. “This is a genuine, wonderful, peaceful protest, but federal television channels do not cover them, and that offends people,” he said.Millions of Russians are still watching the Far East rallies online. People are outraged by unemployment, corruption, pollution, and failing government. “For as long as we have a one-party system, you will have the Khabarovsk protests,” Zhirinovsky recently declared from the tribune of the State Duma. “I have suggested to them a long time ago to have at least two parties, but they want to have the majority,” Zhirinovsky told The Daily Beast about Putin’s United Russia party. Putin continues the tradition of single-party system that began under Lenin, Zhirinovsky said.Two thousand miles away from Khabarovsk sits another provincial city, Norilsk, with its giant factory that is the source of a fifth of the world’s nickel and half of the precious metal palladium. Norilsk is the world’s northernmost city and also Russia’s most polluted; visitors stepping off a plane are greeted by air that leaves an unforgettable metallic taste in the mouth. But even by Norilsk’s own abysmal standards, this summer was a horrific one for the environment: Its factory, Norilsk Nickel, spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of red-hued diesel fuel into what locals now call “rivers of blood.” The rain smells of chemicals. The diesel fuel spill was caused by the collapse of a rust-covered storage tank at a heat and power plant on May 29. Local bureaucrats and the factory kept quiet about the disaster for two days as the red, oily rivers spread pollutants through the fragile tundra environment in what Greenpeace would later call the “biggest environmental catastrophe in the history of Russia’s Arctic.” Authorities initially tried to hide the disaster, in the same way state television channels have attempted to ignore the protests in Khabarovsk. Russians only learned of the spill from social media. Six weeks later, with still no word of any official reprimand for the spill, the factory dumped another round of toxic waste—this time, intentionally—right onto the tundra.Two reporters from the independent paper Novaya Gazeta, Yelena Kostyuchenko and Yuri Kozyrev, had traveled to Norilsk after the spill to see the pollution with their own eyes. The reporters discovered a stream with orange bubbles and a lake covered in white foam, surrounded by dead trees. But it had nothing to do with the diesel spill. “Two large pipes were pumping and dumping white toxic waste with a sharp chemical smell onto the tundra when we arrived,” Kostyuchenko told The Daily Beast. Novaya Gazeta’s report raised the alarm with local prosecutors and police, so the factory sent a bulldozer to quickly dismantle the pipes. Then, the bulldozer accidentally crushed a police car while backing up. Environmentalists witnessed a wild scene: A huge number of Norilsk Nickel’s security services were demolishing their factory’s pipes in front of police and officials from the emergency ministry and Russia’s natural resources regulatory agency, Rospotrebnadzor.Meanwhile, some Russian politicians started to call for the Kremlin to take control of the factory—owned by the country’s richest oligarch, Vladimir Potanin—and nationalize it. Potanin, a former member of the Communist Party, obtained the Norilsk factory on the cheap during the privatization of the 1990s. Since then, he’s seemed untouchable. After all, according to Kremlin-watcher Mikhail Zygar, the billionaire has always paid up for problems at the factory in the only currency that counts: loyalty to the Russian president. “People like Potanin are happy to pay for all [Putin’s] projects, for anything he ever wants,” said Zygar, author of All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin. Soviet and post-Soviet bureaucrats have a long history of attempting to hide the truth about disasters from the public, no matter how deadly—most famously after the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Last year, an experimental missile exploded in the Arctic, releasing radioactivity into the air, and the official reaction was silence. So, too, in the first days after the fuel spill. Officials were even reluctant to break the bad news to Putin himself. “One has to earn the right to report bad news to Vladimir Vladimirovich,” said Sergei Markov, a political analyst close to the Kremlin. “It must have taken a few days before the decision-makers on various steps of power figured out who would be the one to break the news.”On the fifth day after the fuel spill, four people lined up shoulder to shoulder to report the truth about the accident to Putin in an online meeting: the oligarch Potanin; Svetlana Radionova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor; Yevgeny Zinichev, the minister of emergency situations; and Viktor Uss, the Krasnoyarsk regional governor.Zinichev told the president that “the event itself, the emergency situation, was localized on June 1. We have installed booms, so there is no development.” Radionova, in contrast, talked about “unprecedented” pollution. “We registered an increase by dozens of thousands of times,” after the diesel fuel spilled into the rivers, she told Putin.Potanin was the last to speak. He promised to dip into his wealth and pay for the damage. The accident would cost “not a ruble from the state budget.” Putin wanted to know how much, exactly, the company was going to pay. The billionaire paused.Putin pressed Potanin on how much money he was willing to pay to compensate for the damage. “Billions and billions” of rubles, or tens of millions of dollars, the oligarch finally told the president. “And how much does one reserve tank cost that you are going to replace now? If you replaced it on time, there would not have been such damage and such cost to the environment,” the president replied.According to Forbes Real Time, which gauges wealth, in the weeks after the accident Potanin’s net worth dropped by more than $3.6 billion, but he is currently worth $23 billion, which still allows him the title of Russia’s richest man. The World Wide Fund for Nature has addressed an open letter to Potanin, calling him personally to “take the full responsibility” for polluting the Arctic.  But money for the clean-up aside, Potanin is unlikely to face real repercussions for the spill. Earlier this summer Putin’s inspector,  Radionova, flew to Norilsk to calculate fines for the factory—but, according to Transparency International, she flew there on Potanin’s own Bombardier Challenger private jet, instead of taking a regular flight. Radionova has also been accused of corruption by the foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which revealed documents for luxurious real estate in Moscow and Nice that suggest Radionova is the owner. “Such wealth cannot be explained. It is so outrageous,” Navalny said in his report on YouTube, viewed by more than 3 million people. Meanwhile, experts warn that Russia is ill-equipped to prevent another environmental disaster. After the diesel spill, a member of the board of directors at Norilsk Nickel, Yevgeny Shvarts, admitted on a television talk show that the storage tank that had collapsed was the newest piece of equipment at his company. “This is terrifying: One of Russia’s richest companies considers a tank made in 1985 their newest piece of equipment. That means things are much worse than we thought,” the show’s host, Vladimir Slivyak, told to The Daily Beast. He expressed concern that many other Russian factories are also storing diesel fuel in even older tanks: “Such accidents might take place any time.” 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.


Michigan official uses racial slur when asked about masks
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:11:44 -0400
In an interview, Tom Eckerle doubled down on his use of the N-word, repeating it over and over again.


The National Rifle Association faces its worst nightmare: accountability
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 09:20:20 -0400
The NRA is facing lawsuits and investigations for possible financial misconduct while losing the influence it once had on American leadership.


Former Saudi official accuses Mohammad bin Salman of 'sending hit squad' to kill him
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:24:32 -0400
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Mr Aljabri, who was living in self-imposed exile in Toronto, was said to have clashed with the crown prince over issues including the decision to go to war in Yemen, and was dismissed from his cabinet role in 2015. He is suing the crown prince and 24 others for an unset amount of damages In his complaint Mr Aljabri claimed the crown prince "dispatched a hit squad" to Canada in October 2018. The complaint said: "(A) team of Saudi nationals travelled across the Atlantic Ocean from Saudi Arabia ... with the intention of killing Dr Saad."


Georgia DA who charged officers faces tough primary runoff
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:30:56 -0400
Against the backdrop of protests over racial injustice and police brutality and with allegations of misconduct emboldening challengers, the top prosecutor in Georgia’s most populous country is fighting to keep his job. After two decades of running unopposed, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard placed second in the June Democratic primary and faces a tough runoff election Tuesday. The extended primary contest has unfolded as Atlanta rocked with protests sparked by the killing of an African American, George Floyd, by a white police officer in Minneapolis.


CIA analysts reportedly told the White House there's 'no evidence' the Chinese government has accessed TikTok data
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 18:27:27 -0400
Despite the report, President Trump still issued an executive order prohibiting US firms from doing business with TikTok's parent company ByteDance.


Joshua Wong and other Hong Kong activists charged over banned June 4 vigil
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:02:40 -0400
Two dozen people in Hong Kong, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, have been charged with participating in an illegal assembly at a vigil on June 4 commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen square in 1989. It was the first time the vigil had been banned in semiautonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings in refusing permission for it to take place. The anniversary struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British colony this year, falling just as China prepared to introduce national security legislation later that month in response to last year's often violent pro-democracy demonstrations.


GOP appeals after Judge dismisses lawsuit over House's proxy voting system established due to COVID-19
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 18:19:43 -0400
A federal judge tossed out a GOP-led lawsuit aiming to halt an unprecedented proxy voting system established by the House due to the COVID pandemic.


Christiane Lemieux and Anthropologie Team Up for the Launch of Her Newest Collection
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:06:15 -0400


How Is New York Having Crazy Parties With No COVID Surge?
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:36:14 -0400
Bikini-packed pool parties. Insane backyard blowouts. Unhinged prom bashes.Spectacular scenes of COVID-19 recklessness have emerged from New Jersey in recent weeks, alarming state leaders into implementing new restrictions to curb the tide of rising coronavirus cases and prompting plenty of snickering about the Jersey Shore. But a looming question has plagued experts as similar signs of non-compliance have been witnessed across the Hudson River in New York—without the same upticks.New Jersey and New York have had similar regulations, travel restrictions, and contact tracing efforts. Giant, raucous boat parties in New York are making headlines, too. So why aren’t infection rates following suit the same way? Why are two states that were both early coronavirus hot spots on seemingly divergent courses all these months later?As of Thursday, New Jersey’s case rate per 100,000 people was 30 over the past seven days, according to The New York Times. The state had a positivity rate of 1.77 percent on its tests over the past week, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. For the past month, that number was 1.52 percent. The state was testing 2.3 people per 1,000, a rate that was trending downward according to Johns Hopkins.Those figures might seem perfectly fine in the abstract, but they amounted to an ominous trend.“The numbers are setting off alarms,” New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy said last Friday. “We are standing in a very dangerous place.”Meanwhile, New York’s case rate per 100,000 was 24 over the past seven days, according to the Times. This week, the state had a positivity rate of 0.97 percent on its tests, according to Johns Hopkins. For the past month, that number was 1.06 percent. The state was testing 3.5 people per 1,000, a rate that was trending upward according to Johns Hopkins.Conversations with a wide array of public health experts, local health officials, and disease modelers suggested the reasons for the split were still very much out of focus. But hypotheses ranged from subtle differences in pandemic restrictions to the perception of New York as being more inclined toward aggressive enforcement, deterring non-compliance and would-be spreaders from traveling there.‘Worse Than New York’: How Coronavirus Exploded in South Carolina“Up until this week the restrictions on indoor gatherings were way too high” in New Jersey, said Dr. David Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has modeled the pandemic in collaboration with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “That was really problematic, particularly with people gathering on the Jersey Shore, which also has a long coastline and is a big vacation destination.”Of course, New Jersey’s cases and test positivity rates were nowhere near as concerning as those in hot zones like Texas or Florida. And New York is still finding more COVID-19-positive people on any given day than its neighbor, thanks to its much larger population. But the trendlines in Jersey have concerned state authorities, and last Friday, Murphy squarely placed the blame for new cases on residents not following the rules.“Everyone who walks around refusing to wear a mask, or who hosts an indoor house party, or who overstuffs a boat, is directly contributing to these increases,” Murphy told reporters. “This has to stop.”It didn’t.Just one day later, about 300 bikini-clad and maskless guests spilled out of a massive pool party in Alpine, New Jersey, when police showed up to break up the crowd, NBC New York reported. The party was advertised on social media and by DJs as “The Lavish Experience Pool Party,” and the unidentified host told local reporters that “it got out of control.”Promoters had posted about the party, and party buses pulled up outside. “It’s been happening all summer,” one neighbor told The New York Post. “The owner of the house doesn’t care, the mayor doesn’t care. There’s cursing, loud music, drugs.”Alpine Mayor Paul Tomasko, for what it’s worth, told the local NBC station that such parties were under investigation by local police, state officials, and the county prosecutor’s office.A few weeks earlier, a “BikiniPalooza” event was held at the same mansion, with some neighbors calling it “a night club.” It received the same promotional treatment, according to posts on Instagram.Murphy has said the event involved “close congregation and not a lot of face covering, if any.”In the aftermath, the governor announced on Monday that he would reduce the limit on indoor gatherings to 25 percent capacity, capped at 25 people total. Until this week, it had been capped at 100. By contrast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order on COVID-19 has for some time prohibited crowds of non-essential workers over 50 people indoors. The rate of transmission in New Jersey jumped from 0.87 a month ago to 1.48 on Monday, Murphy said, meaning that people were spreading the virus more readily.“This is no time for complacency, for selfishness, or for thinking that someone else can wear a mask but not you,” Murphy tweeted on Wednesday. “Do your part.”Carrie Nawrocki, executive director at the Hudson Regional Health Commission, which oversees a population of about 675,000 and includes Jersey City, said her area has seen “extensive delays with testing turnaround time,” making it “difficult to get an accurate picture of the daily cases we have.”Nawrocki said that there has not been a significant increase in case numbers among the 18-29 age group, but that she doesn’t “think that’s necessarily the age group that’s going to get tested as often, especially if they are not adhering to social distancing.”“We have enough contact tracers and disease investigators for every new case that comes in, so we are reaching out to everyone and we haven’t identified one specific reason why people are getting COVID,” said Nawrocki. “My guess would be that they have to do with travel.”That being said, NJ.com reported that state officials warned in recent weeks that the 18-29 age group was the fastest-growing in the state to test positive for COVID-19, and Murphy has certainly pointed the finger at large indoor parties hosted by younger people. Dozens of new cases have been traced to house parties in towns like Westfield and Middletown.Still, the same recklessness—yelling, cheering, drinking and singing without masks—has been reported in New York City. On bistro patios, on crowded boats, and in the middle of crowded streets.“We’re drinking to everyone’s health,” a 31-year-old consultant who was drinking a beer with running buddies at a sports bar told Bloomberg News last month. “We could’ve stopped the virus a long time ago if they gave us clear directions. Now, they want to blame it on us.”Last weekend, officials in New York City broke up an alleged sex party of about 30 people in Midtown on Friday and then, a day later, busted a party boat filled with 170 revelers. Authorities arrested the owners of the ship, the Liberty Belle, for allegedly violating the state's ban on large crowds and for running a bar without a license.On Sunday, the New York State Liquor Authority issued violations for 24 city establishments that violated social distancing guidelines, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The state has also reportedly opened an investigation into a July 25 outdoor charity concert in the Hamptons that was attended by more than 2,000 people. As of this weekend, the total number of pandemic-related charges in the state had hit 503, according to ABC News.“It’s disrespectful,” Cuomo said Monday. “It’s illegal. It violates public health. It violates public decency. What if one of the people on that cruise gets sick and dies?”Rubin posited that the main difference between both states could be a matter of enforcement. Or, just as important when it comes to deterrence in the context of disease containment, the perception of enforcement.“My impression of Gov. Cuomo is that kind of tough stance with anyone who might try to defy the rules,” said Rubin. At the very least, the two states’ travel advisory websites show a tonal difference on that score. That matters because, according to Dr. Brittany Kmush, an assistant professor at Syracuse University and expert on epidemiology and infectious diseases, “the biggest risk in both states is importation from higher risk areas.”“The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected,” according to the New Jersey public health department website’s travel advisory page. The New York health department meanwhile, “expects all travelers to comply and protect public health by adhering to the quarantine.’ But, significantly, it also stipulates that it reserves “the right to issue a mandatory quarantine order” on any given individual, for which a violation is subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 15 days, according to the state’s website. New York City also made a show of announcing checkpoints to enforce a quarantine on out-of-state travelers this week.“If people don’t believe there’s any penalty, they’re just going to defy orders,” said Rubin. “These are very important differences.”“Even though both states have the same travel restrictions, the perception of the consequences differ by the states,” Kmush added.New Jersey has made its own show of enforcement, too—or, at least, it did in the past.N.J. Gym Owners Drop F-Bombs in Off the Rails CNN InterviewFrom April through June, State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan released regular round-ups of enforcement actions against violators of Murphy's executive orders. Just in the first weekend, they reported that officers had issued more than 200 summonses in Newark alone, each carrying a sentence of up to six months and a fine as large as $1,000. Local police also famously busted a party of 30 people at a house in the town of Rumson and arrested the homeowner and an allegedly unruly guest. Cops cuffed a Toms River man after crashing another party of 20 at his abode. Authorities in West Windsor took a 16-year-old year into custody who they accused of hacking on a 52-year-old in a Wegmans supermarket. And 13 people were charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency in as many incidents in just the first half the month, after they reportedly coughed or spit on police and claimed to be carrying the virus. The round-ups went from daily to weekly in May, to ending entirely after June 5 as the state moved forward with reopening.Asked for comment, Murphy’s office deferred to Grewal’s team, who did not provide a response by press time. The New Jersey Department of Health did not respond to a request for comment for this story.“I got the sense that New Jersey was not enforcing things as strongly as New York is, where Cuomo has cracked down on bars and is wielding more penalties than other governors are, and that’s keeping people in line,” said Rubin. For guidelines and restrictions in other states, what will matter in case counts, he said, is: “Are these just empty threats? Or is there just more teeth to them?”In any case, Rubin said, “Our models are seeing sea levels rise everywhere around New York, but we don’t know exactly why New York has been insulated from the resurgences we’re seeing in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.” Or, as Kmush put it: “I really don’t think we’ll know the answer to this for years.”—With additional reporting by William BreddermanRead 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.


Hiroshima marks 75 years since atomic bombing
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 07:15:44 -0400
The city said that given the significance of the 75th anniversary of the bombing, that killed 140,000 people before the end of 1945, they had decided to hold the ceremony despite the spread of coronavirus, but with strict precautions in place. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended as usual, but the number of foreign visitors was down. Overall attendance was scaled back to less than 10 percent of usual, with chairs spaced far apart and most attendees wearing masks. Thousands usually pack the Peace Park in central Hiroshima to pray, sing and lay paper cranes as a symbol of peace, entrance was sharply limited and only survivors and their families could attend the memorial ceremony itself. At 8:15 a.m. on Aug 6, 1945, U.S. B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" and obliterated the city, killing 140,000 of an estimated population of 350,000, with thousands more dying later of injuries and radiation-related illnesses.


There are more problems with onions. Another brand pulls products at Walmart and Kroger
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:41:56 -0400
A nationwide onion recall has grown to include products from Taylor Farms Texas, a Dallas company that is voluntarily recalling products containing onions from its supplier. An onion recall was initiated by Thomson International last week.


Germany floats a new NATO spending yardstick: 10 percent
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:39:49 -0400
Officials are pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements.


India landslide: Dozens feared dead after flooding in Kerala
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:55:50 -0400
Up to 20 houses are buried under debris in the state of Kerala, with rescue efforts under way.


Rudy Giuliani wildly claims Black Lives Matter are a 'domestic terror group' who 'hate white men in particular'
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 10:18:00 -0400
President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed Black Lives Matter is a "domestic terrorist group," despite the group never being tied to a single terrorism event in a global database of almost 200,000."These are killers, and these are people who hate white people. They're people who hate white men in particular. And they want to do away with a mother-father family," Mr Giuliani said on Fox and Friends on Thursday, although ample evidence debunks that claim.


Children rapidly deported from the United States strain Guatemalan shelters
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:07:55 -0400
Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where virus testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits. Shelter operators, government officials in the Central American nation and international organizations said they are seeing rising numbers of children being sent back to Guatemala alone, with some unable to return to their homes because of domestic abuse or gang violence. "Child protection services, which were already overstretched and under-resourced have now been further compromised by COVID-19," said United Nations children's agency UNICEF spokesman Christopher Tidey.


Louisville caravan calls on Mitch McConnell to extend $600 supplement to jobless benefits
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 18:49:45 -0400
A caravan of workers took to Louisville's streets Thursday to call on Sen. Mitch McConnell to extend a federal supplement to unemployment benefits.


After the FBI raided Jake Paul's mansion, speculation was rampant about his associate 'Armani' Izadi, who is an accused pimp and was also searched by the feds
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:12:52 -0400
In addition to Jake Paul's Calabasas home, FBI agents also searched the Las Vegas mansion of his associate, 'Armani' Izadi, an accused pimp.


CNN’s Poppy Harlow Confronts Larry Kudlow With All the Times He’s Been Wrong About the Coronavirus
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:49:40 -0400
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to predictions. And CNN anchor Poppy Harlow was more than ready with the receipts when he came on her show to talk about the coronavirus fallout Friday morning. Harlow began her interview by asking Kudlow if he and President Donald Trump are “worried” about the slowdown in the recovery. “I don’t know that there’s a slowdown. These job numbers will go up and down,” Kudlow replied. When Harlow noted that only 1.8 million jobs were added in July compared to 4.8 million in June, he said, “That is true, and it's going to be uneven as it always is.” Kudlow continued to push the administration’s argument that a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit has been a “disincentive” for Americans to go back to work. And when Harlow asked for evidence, he pointed to a University of Chicago study that supposedly supports that claim. “But, Larry, the University of Chicago survey, it doesn’t conclude what you’re arguing,” Harlow said. “I know you don’t want to incentivize people to go to work when it’s a dangerous situation for them to go because the virus is not under control,” she added, noting that she talked to the author of that study who said “it’s a mistake to draw the conclusion as you have been and the White House has been that right now it’s a disincentive to go back to work.” All Kudlow could say in response was, “We can argue one academic versus another, I think history shows this is probably not sustainable in the long term.” > Asked to explain why he's been wrong about the coronavirus at every turn -- he said the virus was "contained" in February, for instance -- Kudlow takes umbrage with Poppy Harlow for "nitpicking" pic.twitter.com/bNvNP8Qj4r> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 7, 2020But the most contentious moment of the interview came later when Harlow confronted Kudlow for his rhetoric over the past several months about the pandemic itself. “I’m wondering why you have consistently downplayed the severity of the pandemic,” she said. “Back on February 25th you said ‘it’s pretty close to airtight.’ February 28th, ‘It’s not going to sink the American economy,’ March 6th, ‘Let’s not overreact, America should stay at work.’ And just on June 12th, ‘There is no emergency, there is no second wave,’ but since June 12th, 45,978 Americans have died from COVID.”Kudlow attempted to defend his consistent downplaying of the virus’ severity but after a few moments he just resorted to attacking his interviewer. “I kind of resent your little nitpicking here because I don’t know what that has to do with today’s job numbers,” he said.“I’m not nitpicking, Larry,” Harlow replied. “I think people listen to you and the president when you say things about the pandemic.” Ultimately, he may have been chastened enough to acknowledge his own fallibility when it comes to predicting the future. “I think, again, the health guidelines that we have put out are in fact working, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, maybe prayerfully, that we’ve seen the worst of this extension so we’ll see what happens.” “We all are, Larry,” Harlow said. CNN’s Brianna Keilar Comes at Trump Campaign’s Mercedes Schlapp for Falsely Smearing Her Military HusbandRead 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.


A roar, an explosion, then a blank: An L.A. Times reporter's ordeal in the Beirut blast
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:18:16 -0400
Los Angeles Times reporter Nabih Bulos was less than 500 yards from the center of the massive explosion in Beirut. He lived to tell the tale


‘I can’t teach when I’m dead.’ UGA staff, students hold die-in over reopening plans
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:29:02 -0400
“When I said I was dying to get back to my classroom, I didn’t mean it literally.”


Schumer, Pelosi call on postmaster general to reverse service changes
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 17:51:36 -0400
Their letter comes after the two had a "heated" meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Wednesday about increased delays in mail delivery.


Nearly 100 people in Ohio got sick after one man infected with the coronavirus attended a church service
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 07:06:23 -0400
Experts have said that singing and loud speech can fuel virus spread. Gov. Mike DeWine used this case as a warning to Ohio's religious institutions.


Trump's latest fundraising attempt is reportedly a Facebook scam against his own supporters
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 15:31:35 -0400
President Trump would love to have dinner with you, for the low, low price of a $10,000 fine.The Trump campaign blitzed supporters this week asking for donations in exchange for the chance to attend a "VIP dinner" with the president in Southampton, New York on Aug. 8, but Popular Information's Judd Legum, who investigated the contest, says the fundraising attempt is a pretty blatant "scam."The ads, which reportedly cost the campaign $100,000 to run on Facebook, failed to mention that anyone residing in one of 35 states is legally barred from attending the fundraiser (or any event in the state of New York, for that matter).Since late June, visitors to New York who are coming from states with surging COVID-19 numbers have been told they need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine to help prevent the virus' spread. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has since doubled down on that requirement, imposing fines and installing checkpoints for visitors.It's unlikely that Trump, who has gone head-to-head with Cuomo throughout the pandemic, has forgotten these restrictions. Still, that didn't stop the campaign from advertising its one-of-a-kind deal to those very people."In one heavily promoted version of the ad, 73 percent of the impressions were targeted at users in states subject to New York's quarantine order," Legum writes.The Trump campaign seems to have advertised the fundraiser knowing much of its targeted audience wouldn't be in a position to actually attend, as the contest rules give the campaign permission "to suspend or cancel the Promotion" if any "viruses, bugs, unauthorized human intervention or other causes beyond Sponsor's control" interfere.Essentially, anything from the mandatory quarantine order to a fruit fly infestation could give Trump reason to bail.More stories from theweek.com Biden campaign reportedly making 'ruthless cuts' to convention speaking list The case against American truck bloat Gates Foundation donates $150 million to push coronavirus vaccine doses below $3


Philippines defends coronavirus response after soaring cases
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:26:17 -0400
The Philippines has seen a jump in coronavirus infections due to intensified testing, the presidential spokesman said on Friday, defending the country's response to the pandemic after overtaking Indonesia to record the most cases in Southeast Asia. It prompted authorities to reimpose a lockdown in and around Manila earlier this week. "While we do not want to see these numbers, this is a result of our intensified testing," Harry Roque, spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte, told a briefing.


Videos show Black inmate John Neville saying 'I can't breathe' before fatal injury; sheriff apologizes
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:54:38 -0400
A North Carolina sheriff apologized before videos were released showing John Neville telling jailers he can't breathe as he was fatally injured.


Letters to the Editor: Jackie Lacey's husband has a right to protect his home. Why charge him with assault?
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:00:29 -0400
David Lacey didn't hurt anyone when Black Lives Matter demonstrators showed up at his home shortly after 5 a.m. one morning.


Texas cancer researcher murdered on jog
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:26:13 -0400
A cancer researcher and mother of two is murdered on her daily jog; Sarmistha Sen was found dead near a creek in Plano, Texas.


Mauritius facing catastrophe as oil starts leaking from a shipwreck near pristine coral reefs
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:56:25 -0400
The island nation of Mauritius is facing an environmental crisis after a huge container ship ran aground and started to leak oil into an area home to some of the finest coral reefs in the world. Efforts to pump oil out of the ship have failed, and now there are fears that the carrier could start to break up, leading to an even greater leak and causing catastrophic damage on the island’s pristine coastline. “We are in an environmental crisis situation,” said the environment minister, Kavy Ramano, The carrier MV Wakashio, which belongs to a Japanese company and flew a Panamanian-flagged, was en route from China to Brazil when it ran aground near Pointe d’Esny on the island’s southeastern coast on 25 July. The vessel’s crew have been evacuated safely and the container was not carrying a cargo load when wrecked. However, the 1,000ft vessel was carrying 90 tonnes of lubricant oil, 200 tonnes of diesel and 3,800 tonnes of bunker fuel, according to local media outlets. Now the oil is spreading out of the ship rapidly, according to Sunil Dowarkasing, Greengate Consulting, a Mauritian environmental consultancy, who was on the beach in sight of wreck. “It’s really very bad because now despite all the measures, the oil has already reached the shores of Mauritius and polluted the shorelines. You can see fish dying. The situation is out of control,” Mr Dowarkasing told The Telegraph. Mr Dowarkasing said that the wreck was near four major wildlife and maritime sanctuaries, which contained flora and fauna unique to the island. He added that there was a 100-year-old ‘brain’ coral nearby in the Blue Bay Marine Park. “Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health,” Happy Khambule from Greenpeace Africa told The Telegraph in a statement. Mauritius, which lies some 600 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, is a major tourist hotspot and tax haven for international corporations and African oligarchs. The country of 1.2m depends on its seas for food and for tourism, boasting some of the finest coral reefs in the world. The Mauritian government has asked the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion for assistance. “This is the first time that we are faced with a catastrophe of this kind and we are insufficiently equipped to handle this problem,” said fishing minister, Sudheer Maudhoo.


Students say they were suspended and others threatened with 'consequences' for posting photos of their school's packed hallways
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:22:00 -0400
North Paulding High School has cracked down social media sharing after images of a crowded hallway and few masks at the school went viral.


Postal Service loses $2.2B in 3 months as virus woes persist
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 00:16:33 -0400
The U.S. Postal Service says it lost $2.2 billion in the three months that ended in June as the beleaguered agency — hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic — piles up financial losses that officials warn could top $20 billion over two years. Later Friday, DeJoy released another memo detailing changes that reshuffle dozens of officials on his executive leadership team.


ICE detained hundreds of Mississippi chicken plant workers. Now managers are charged
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:59:30 -0400
The indictments mark the first criminal action prosecutors have taken against company managers after ICE took close to 700 workers into custody last year during a massive raid on food processing plants.


US election: Biden to accept nomination remotely as virus worsens
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 01:45:56 -0400
Joe Biden will not attend the Democratic convention in Milwaukee because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Germany will test all arrivals from 'risky' countries like the US as daily new cases top 1,000 for the first time in 3 months
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:45:19 -0400
Germany will test arrivals from most countries outside of the EU in a bid to avoid another escalation in Covid-19 infections.


'Please consider': Hyatt message asked guests for donations to the hotel amid COVID-19 pandemic
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 15:07:32 -0400
A hotel guest was surprised to see a solicitation for donations to the hotel in his Hyatt room in Seattle.



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