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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.

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:48:15 -0400
  • Marijuana sent him to prison for decades. Now he has COVID-19 and is seeking release.

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:33:41 -0400
  • 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

    Golocal247.com news

    Igor Grechushkin was questioned by Cyprus police on Thursday over the MV Rhosus, the ship that carried ammonium nitrate to Beirut, local reports say.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:47:13 -0400
  • Trump news - China, Iran and Russia all exposed to be interfering in the US election as Covid rescue bill falters in Congress

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:04:00 -0400
  • US warns Americans to 'exercise increased caution' in New Zealand due to Covid-19

    Golocal247.com news

    The United States government has issued a warning to its citizens to “exercise increased caution in New Zealand due to Covid-19”, despite the fact New Zealand has been lauded globally for its response to the pandemic. The US has recorded almost five million coronavirus cases and more than 160,000 deaths from Covid-19. By contrast, New Zealand currently has only 23 cases, all of which are in managed isolation. On June 8, Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, declared the pandemic over as community transmission has been eliminated. The warning on the US government travel advice website does not mention this fact or that each active case involves a returned traveller who went directly into quarantine on arrival. Until Thursday, the warning also did not mention that anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand cannot enter the country. The US government has four travel advisory levels for travel abroad: Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions; Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution; Level 3: Reconsider Travel; and Level 4: Do Not Travel. It classified New Zealand as Level 2. New Zealand’s own government has urged residents to not travel overseas at all at present, and the official advice specifically warns against certain countries, including the United States.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:45:29 -0400
  • Students say they were suspended and others threatened with 'consequences' for posting photos of their school's packed hallways

    Golocal247.com news

    North Paulding High School has cracked down social media sharing after images of a crowded hallway and few masks at the school went viral.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:22:00 -0400
  • Decades after they last saw each other, homecoming king and queen reunited by chance on a dating app

    Golocal247.com news

    They were married on the 50-yard-line at Montclair State University's football stadium — where they were crowned homecoming royalty in 1992.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:00:33 -0400
  • Joshua Wong and other Hong Kong activists charged over banned June 4 vigil

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:02:40 -0400
  • CNN’s Poppy Harlow Confronts Larry Kudlow With All the Times He’s Been Wrong About the Coronavirus

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:49:40 -0400
  • Georgia DA who charged officers faces tough primary runoff

    Golocal247.com news

    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 county 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:30:56 -0400
  • Robber snatches California man's life savings in front of bank

    Golocal247.com news

    Francisco Cornejo walking to his car after making a hefty withdrawal from his account. He was carrying 200-thousand dollars when a robber attacked him and ripped away Conejo's bag of money. The thief escaped with the money and has yet to be arrested.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:23:43 -0400
  • A top Saudi intelligence official who fled to Canada in 2017 is suing Mohammed bin Salman, saying the crown prince sent an elite squad to kill him 2 weeks after Khashoggi's death

    Golocal247.com news

    Saad al-Jabri, who spent 40 years working in Saudi intelligence, claims Crown Prince Mohammed wants him dead because he knows too much.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:10:14 -0400
  • A Sampling of Work From Mexico City’s Top Talents 

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 08:00:00 -0400
  • Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit seeking to block proxy voting

    Golocal247.com news

    It was not immediately clear whether House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy planned to appeal the ruling.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 19:00:35 -0400
  • Portland's Black police chief says violent protesters have 'taken away from' the Black Lives Matter movement

    Golocal247.com news

    While the protests in downtown Portland have largely been peaceful, there have been violent offshoots in other parts of the city this week.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 06:24:11 -0400
  • New York is moving homeless people into luxury hotels to protect them against coronavirus and wealthy neighbourhoods aren't happy

    Golocal247.com news

    New York was in the midst of a record homelessness crisis even before the coronavirus hit. Some 60,000 people were filling municipal shelters across the city every night. Nearly a third of that number was living in dorm-style facilities for single adults, sharing bathrooms, dining areas and sleeping facilities.“When Covid struck, we recognised very quickly this was a recipe for disaster,” said Jacqueline Simone, of Coalition for the Homeless, a New York charity. The problem was only going to get worse, they warned, as the economic crisis caused by the pandemic deepened.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:29:00 -0400
  • The New George Floyd Video Should Not Surprise You

    Golocal247.com news

    This week, the Daily Mail managed to get its hands on some previously unreleased body-camera footage of George Floyd’s arrest. Some found that it changed their perception of the incident. Most notably, my former American Conservative colleague Rod Dreher wrote a lightning-rod blog post in which he contended that “George Floyd is dead today almost entirely because of George Floyd.”The video does clarify some things, especially the precise degree to which Floyd resisted arrest. But I would urge anyone whose mind changed dramatically upon watching it to ask themselves: Why does it surprise you that Floyd resisted arrest? And why does it change your view of how the cops behaved in a completely different part of the encounter?In reality, nothing in the video is all that unexpected, and nothing in it changes the fact that law-enforcement officers kept a handcuffed, obviously unwell man face down, with a knee on his neck, for about eight minutes, including two minutes after they failed to find a pulse. The second-degree-murder charge against Derek Chauvin is likely a stretch, as Andy McCarthy detailed back in June, but the other options available to the jury — third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — remain entirely plausible.This all began when the police received a call alleging that Floyd had tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill and seemed inebriated. In the new video, we see an officer approach Floyd’s car and rap on the driver’s-side window with a flashlight. Floyd opens the door. The officer repeatedly instructs Floyd to show his hands, but Floyd delays and argues instead, prompting the cop to draw his pistol and point it at Floyd. (If an officer asks to see your hands, he wants to make sure there isn’t a gun in them, so show him your hands.) Floyd then becomes even more agitated, and a long scene follows in which the police get Floyd out of the car, handcuff him, try to put him in a police vehicle while he resists, and then — after he says he wants to lie down — apparently start to put him on the ground. Floyd never becomes violent in the sense of directly attacking the officers, but he certainly resists arrest and acts bizarrely.Now, until this video came out, we didn't know for sure the extent to which Floyd resisted arrest. But the only way it could surprise you that he resisted is if you dismissed or didn't read what the police reports said from the beginning, preferring instead to buy into other testimony that claimed he hadn’t resisted at all and the escalation of the incident was 100 percent the fault of the cops. (Even in the document that introduced a new second-degree-murder charge against Chauvin, prosecutors noted that the cops had to try to “force” Floyd into their car and that Floyd “stiffened up and fell to the ground.”) In a later post, Dreher admitted that he “didn’t go looking for” additional information about the case before. “I assumed the Narrative — white cops torture black suspect to death — was true, or mostly true. We had video, did we not?”Uncritical acceptance of one-sided tales before all the information is available is what brought us the “hands up, don’t shoot” canard five years ago, and apparently it was widespread in the Floyd case too. In the former ordeal, the narrative obscured the fact that the shooting was outright justified. But in this one, it’s distracting us from the real issue, which is what the cops did after they got Floyd under control.We knew what had happened during that period of time even before the new video’s release. The key facts are still the same, and thus the case against Chauvin and the other officers is still the same, too. Holding someone in a prone position, especially with pressure to the neck or chest, is well-known to be dangerous, particularly when the suspect has health problems; after using a prone restraint to gain control of a suspect, police are generally trained to move the arrestee to a “recovery position” on their side to prevent medical complications. A 2013 settlement required the Minneapolis Police Department to better educate cops about the dangers of improper restraints, and while there are conflicting accounts of how well that was implemented, an MPD official has said that both Chauvin and another officer at the scene were trained to transition suspects to the recovery position. Additionally, at the time of the arrest, the department’s policy manual allowed neck restraints only in specific circumstances: Officers could use “conscious neck restraints” on suspects who were “actively resisting,” and could deliberately render a suspect unconscious only if it was necessary to gain control of him or save a life. (The policy has since been changed to ban neck restraints entirely.)The likely defenses haven’t changed much either. It beggars belief that Floyd just happened to die during the eight minutes he was being knelt on, and both of Floyd’s autopsies pointed to the police restraint as a contributor to his death while ruling it a homicide, but the defense will obviously note that Floyd had dangerous drugs in his system and heart problems.It’s also possible the officers could point to their training on how to deal with suspects suffering from “excited delirium,” but the details on that are murky at this point. Excited delirium is a controversial diagnosis of people who die, often but not always in police custody, after exhibiting bizarre behaviors and even “superhuman strength.”Some of Chauvin’s defenders have pointed to a 2009 white paper produced by the American College of Emergency Physicians that the Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review attached to a 2018 report about the use of ketamine to pacify suspects. The white paper does say that people suffering from the condition should be restrained — “minimize the time spent struggling, while safely achieving physical control” — but it doesn’t say which restraints to use or avoid, and several of the sources the paper cites raise concerns about prone restraints (especially hog-tying and hobble restraints). It also says that medical personnel “should ideally be present and prepared to resuscitate before definitive LEO [law-enforcement officer] control measures are initiated.”Certainly this obscure paper doesn’t override the official policies of the MPD or the training the officers received, but it's not as if we have a complete accounting of what these cops were taught — and conversations that occurred during the arrest itself only confuse the question. The officers mention the possibility of using a hobble restraint, which ties a suspect’s feet to his waist and is discussed in the department’s policy manual as a way to control difficult suspects, though the manual makes clear that a hobbled suspect should be moved to the recovery position as soon as possible. An officer worried about “excited delirium or whatever” also suggests moving Floyd to his side, but Chauvin declines.The bottom line, I think, is that it’s going to be hard to acquit someone who knelt on a subdued suspect until the suspect apparently lost his pulse, and then kept kneeling for a little while longer. But the key questions hinge on the eight minutes we already knew about, not the eight additional minutes the Daily Mail uncovered.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:39:20 -0400
  • Trump Makes Same Gaffe as Biden in Least Self-Aware Twitter Attack

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump really thought he had Joe Biden with this one.“After yesterday’s statement, Sleepy Joe Biden is no longer worthy of the Black Vote!” the president tweeted on Friday morning. He left out any context, assuming that his biggest fans would be fully aware of the most recent Biden gaffe that has already become the top story on Fox News. During a livestreamed interview with both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, former Vice President Biden had the following to say in response to a question about U.S. relations with Cuba.“Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things,” he said. “You go to Florida, you find a very different attitude about immigration than you do in Arizona. So it’s a very diverse community.”“How dare you lump a race of people together in the same category and tell them what they think or what they should think!” Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade declared—unironically—of Biden’s comments on Friday morning before Trump’s tweet. “To me, there’s very few things more insulting.”Biden was broadly criticized for making such a sweeping generalization about the “African-American community,” but unlike Trump, he soon issued a sincere apology.“I made some comments about diversity in the African-American and Latino communities that I want to clarify,” Biden said. “In no way did I mean to suggest the African-American community is a monolith—not by identity, not on issues, not at all.”And yet Trump is so unaware of his own racist tendencies that—after retweeting a couple of Black conservatives who were embracing NotableException as the new Deplorable—he made the exact same gaffe in his tweet.Evidently Trump thinks he can win “the Black Vote” as a monolith because Biden is treating them like a monolith. But at least his habit of randomly capitalizing words on Twitter finally paid off. Fox’s Chris Wallace: Trump Only Wants More Debates Because He’s LosingRead 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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:14:26 -0400
  • Crystal Rogers disappearance: FBI takes over case of missing Bardstown, Kentucky mom, 5 years later

    Golocal247.com news

    Five years after the disappearance of Bardstown, Kentucky, mom Crystal Rogers, the FBI has taken over the investigation and is launching a new search.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 15:59:17 -0400
  • Christiane Lemieux and Anthropologie Team Up for the Launch of Her Newest Collection

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    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:06:15 -0400
  • US ambassador says Iran is world No. 1 sponsor of terrorism

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called Iran “the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism” on Thursday and warned Russia and China that they will become “co-sponsors” if they block a resolution to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States hopes Russia and China “will not be co-sponsors of the number one state that sponsors terrorism” and “will see the importance of peace in the Middle East.”

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 18:18:00 -0400
  • Children rapidly deported from the United States strain Guatemalan shelters

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:07:55 -0400
  • Germany floats a new NATO spending yardstick: 10 percent

    Golocal247.com news

    Officials are pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 13:39:49 -0400
  • 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

    Golocal247.com news

    Oklahoma's board of education voted against requiring masks in schools, putting teachers and students at risk.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:42:14 -0400
  • After Elon Musk criticized Bernie Sanders' brand of socialism, Sanders took him to task for taking billions of dollars in government support

    Golocal247.com news

    Elon Musk tweeted out a meme critical of Bernie Sanders in response to a bill Sanders introduced that would tax billionaires to pay for health care.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:56:28 -0400
  • 40K Katy ISD students chose to stay home and learn virtually

    Golocal247.com news

    Has your family made the decision on the school year? Many parents, teachers and staff say they are conflicted.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:29:56 -0400
  • Putin’s Got Big Problems in Russia’s Provinces

    Golocal247.com news

    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:37:22 -0400
  • George Floyd: US protesters charged as 'gang' face life sentence

    Golocal247.com news

    Black Lives Matter protesters in Utah were accused of acting as a gang to vandalise a building.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:57:27 -0400
  • Letters to the Editor: Heads up, Joe Biden — Kamala Harris has always been campaigning for her next job

    Golocal247.com news

    Kamala Harris is the junior senator from California, so what has she done for our state?

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 06:00:51 -0400
  • Don McGahn: Democrats can subpoena Trump's former White House counsel, court rules

    Golocal247.com news

    A federal appeals court has ruled that the House of Representatives can sue to compel Don McGahn, a former White House lawyer, to testify about Donald Trump's dealings with Russia.Mr McGahn can continue to challenge the ruling and is unlikely to have to testify anytime soon. It is unlikely he will testify prior to the 2020 US election.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 14:02:16 -0400
  • Captain astonished that his ship delivered Beirut explosive

    Golocal247.com news

    When Boris Prokoshev, a former sea captain spending his retirement years in a Russian village, woke up and found an email saying a ship he once commanded had carried the ammonium nitrate that blew up swathes of Beirut, he was astonished. “I didn't understand anything,” he told The Associated Press on Thursday from Verkhnee Buu, 1300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Moscow. The email was from a journalist, he said, and titled with the name of the MV Rhosus, which he had captained on a voyage that he was never paid for.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 16:38:16 -0400
  • No masks required as 250,000 expected at 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Here's what to know.

    Golocal247.com news

    Festivalgoers will be largely free of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions common elsewhere in the country during this year's 10-day event.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 21:47:14 -0400
  • Mauritius facing catastrophe as oil starts leaking from a shipwreck near pristine coral reefs

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    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:56:25 -0400
  • Michigan official uses racial slur when asked about masks

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    In an interview, Tom Eckerle doubled down on his use of the N-word, repeating it over and over again.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:11:44 -0400
  • Philippines defends coronavirus response after soaring cases

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    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:26:17 -0400
  • How Is New York Having Crazy Parties With No COVID Surge?

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    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.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 04:36:14 -0400
  • India landslide: Dozens feared dead after flooding in Kerala

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    Up to 20 houses are buried under debris in the state of Kerala, with rescue efforts under way.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:55:50 -0400
  • 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

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    Germany will test arrivals from most countries outside of the EU in a bid to avoid another escalation in Covid-19 infections.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:45:19 -0400
  • Canada 'knows the root cause': China hints at Huawei retaliation as it sentences two Canadians to death

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    A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Canada “knows the root cause” behind recent death sentences for Canadians facing drug charges, the latest escalation in conflict between both countries following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reportedly said the judicial system in China “handles cases independently” while discussing the recent death sentences for two Canadian nationals charged in separate cases with transporting and manufacturing drugs in China.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 15:16:04 -0400
  • Commission rejects Trump push to add debate against Biden

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    The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has rejected a request from the Trump campaign to either add an additional general election debate or move up the calendar for the contests. In a letter to Trump private attorney Rudy Giuliani, his liaison to the commission, the commission wrote that it is committed to its existing schedule of three debates between Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, saying it would consider adding a fourth debate only if both sides agree to it. Both major party nominees have agreed to participate in the three scheduled debates, the commission said.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:58:04 -0400
  • Trump ‘is so much anti-life,’ Kentucky Catholic bishop says in abortion discussion

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    “He is only concerned about himself,” the church leader said.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:53:38 -0400
  • The National Rifle Association faces its worst nightmare: accountability

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    The NRA is facing lawsuits and investigations for possible financial misconduct while losing the influence it once had on American leadership.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 09:20:20 -0400
  • The Beirut explosion was six years in the making and hit a country on its knees

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    The disaster appears to have been caused by the very forces of negligence and perhaps corruption that had already brought the country to its knees.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:41:00 -0400
  • Pentagon chief expresses concern to Chinese counterpart about Beijing's activity in South China Sea

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    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed concerns about Beijing's "destabilizing" activity near Taiwan and the South China Sea in a call with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, the Pentagon said on Thursday, the first time the two are believed to have spoken since March. The call came as U.S.-China ties have rapidly deteriorated this year over a range of issues, including Beijing's handling of the coronavirus, telecommunications equipment maker Huawei [HWT.UL], China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its clamp-down on Hong Kong. "Secretary Esper also communicated the importance that the PRC (People's Republic of China) abide by international laws, rules and norms and meet its international commitments," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters, adding that the call lasted for an hour and a half.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:17:32 -0400
  • California's Apple Fire has burned more than 28,000 acres. A 'vehicle malfunction' caused the blaze.

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    The Apple Fire is burning in California's San Bernardino National Forest. Evacuation orders for Riverside County have been lifted.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:57:00 -0400
  • What is intolerance fatigue, and how is it fueling Black Lives Matter protests?

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    Protesters remain on the streets demanding equality and justice for Black Americans. What they’re feeling, I believe, is something I call “intolerance fatigue.”As a race scholar, examining the history of social justice movements, the phrase is new, but the concept isn’t. In 1962, during the civil rights movement, activist Fannie Lou Hamer sought to register to vote in her home state of Mississippi. When she was allowed to address the Democratic National Convention in 1964, Hamer told how she and her fellow activists were shot at, fined, arrested and brutally beaten in jail simply for trying “to register to become first-class citizens.”She spoke for millions in another speech that year, in which she declared she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” This exhaustion is not the sort that lays people out on their beds and couches, unable to move. Rather, it’s a frustration and anger about systemic racism that drives people to act, to demand change and become part of creating the social change they want. The civil rights movement was sparked in 1955 by the murder of Emmett Till – a Black 14-year-old from Chicago who was beaten, shot and drowned in a Mississippi river for allegedly offending a white woman in a store. In 1963, John Lewis, a young man who would become a civil rights icon and congressman, made a clear, and eloquent demand: “We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now!”Similarly, the 2020 protests arose in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis. Taking a stand against injustice, people again – still – are tired of being discriminated against, profiled and murdered because of the color of their skin.Marchers are tired of intolerance, worn out by racism and refusing to be silent in the face of unjust treatment and inequality. Just as their elders were, today’s protesters and those they support are “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * How the failures of the 1919 Versailles Peace Treaty set the stage for today’s anti-racist uprisings * Hip-hop is the soundtrack to Black Lives Matter protests, continuing a tradition that dates back to the bluesBev-Freda Jackson has in the past volunteered occasionally for the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP.

    Thu, 06 Aug 2020 14:58:01 -0400
  • Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch says remote staffers will continue working from home until the end of 2020, even as primetime hosts push to reopen the country

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    Murdoch's memo comes as popular Fox News hosts push for states to reopen schools and businesses, even as new cases spike across the country.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 01:57:07 -0400
  • Letters to the Editor: Jackie Lacey's husband has a right to protect his home. Why charge him with assault?

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    David Lacey didn't hurt anyone when Black Lives Matter demonstrators showed up at his home shortly after 5 a.m. one morning.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 06:00:29 -0400
  • Majority of Black Americans don't want less police, new poll says

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    The African-American community is under siege and want more police in their communities, Dr. Darrin Porcher says in response to a new Gallup Poll.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 07:27:21 -0400
  • New 2020 election map predicts resounding victory for Biden against Trump

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    With months to go until one of the most unprecedented elections in American history, anything can happen — but at least one new prediction has forecasted a resounding victory for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.The first 2020 battleground electoral map by NBC News was released on Friday, showing the former vice president with a lead of 334 electoral votes.

    Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:04:00 -0400
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