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News Slideshows (08/27/2020 15 hours)


  • 1/81   News Photos Slideshows
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D


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    Press Review


    jacob blake   falwell   hobi   iphone 12   boosie   felix   spygate   Scott Peterson   infinite jest   winwin   jim jordan   snowfall   kenosha   bun b   liberty university   goethe   jerry seinfeld   trump organization   Jeff Flake   richard spencer   windows 95   eric trump   12 more years   ap top 25   jeff daniels   
  • 2/81   Viola Davis’s message to white women: ‘Get to know me’
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.


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  • 3/81   Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys’s husband, says hip-hop industry lacks compassion
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.


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  • 4/81   Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison, Snooki Says
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison


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  • 5/81   'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...


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  • 6/81   Selma Blair reveals she cried with relief at MS diagnosis after being 'not taken seriously' by doctors
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me.  Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home.  During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me. Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home. During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.


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  • 7/81   They won't be loved: Maroon 5 play it safe with dullest halftime show of all time
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.


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  • 8/81   Do star athletes make too much money?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    With athletes in America's biggest sports leagues raking in salaries worth $300 million and more, is it time to reign in the big spending or do superstars deserve the big bucks they make?

    With athletes in America's biggest sports leagues raking in salaries worth $300 million and more, is it time to reign in the big spending or do superstars deserve the big bucks they make?


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  • 9/81   Live animal mascots: Cute or exploitative?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for college sports teams to stop using real animals as their mascots. Are these complaints fair or an overreaction?

    Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for college sports teams to stop using real animals as their mascots. Are these complaints fair or an overreaction?


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  • 10/81   Does U.S. women's soccer deserve equal pay?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.


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  • 11/81   After fighting for 9/11 victims, Jon Stewart turns to Warrior Games
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.


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  • 12/81   Kevin Love talks anxiety, depression and the time he thought he was going to die mid-game
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.


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  • 13/81   Is there a crisis with our boys? Expert says they need love, not discipline
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.


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  • 14/81   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I'm still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.


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  • 15/81   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I’m still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.


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  • 16/81   For the love of the brain: One mother's fight for CTE awareness
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named. Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does. At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named. Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does. At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.


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  • 17/81   PHOTOS: Fluorescent turtle embryo wins forty-fifth annual Nikon Small World Competition

    The winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.

    The winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.


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  • 18/81   7 tax scams to watch out for this year

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.


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  • 19/81   Mother Angry After School's Robocall Keeps Mispronouncing Daughter's Name As A Racial Slur

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.


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  • 20/81   What the CIA thinks of your anti-virus program

    PARIS (AP) — Peppering the 8,000 pages of purported Central Intelligence Agency hacking data released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are reviews of some of the world's most popular anti-virus products.

    PARIS (AP) — Peppering the 8,000 pages of purported Central Intelligence Agency hacking data released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are reviews of some of the world's most popular anti-virus products.


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  • 21/81   Google Patents Sticky Car Hood to Trap Pedestrians in a Collision

    The patent calls for a giant sticker to be placed on the front end of a vehicle, with a special coating over the layer that is only broken when something collides with the vehicle, exposing the adhesive and helping the colliding object to remain on the vehicle.  The idea is to prevent a pedestrian from being thrown after the impact and potentially sustaining even more injuries.

    The patent calls for a giant sticker to be placed on the front end of a vehicle, with a special coating over the layer that is only broken when something collides with the vehicle, exposing the adhesive and helping the colliding object to remain on the vehicle. The idea is to prevent a pedestrian from being thrown after the impact and potentially sustaining even more injuries.


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  • 22/81   Relax, Your Instagram Feed Likely Won't Change Tomorrow

    Relax, your Instagram feed likely isn't changing tomorrow.The great "Insta-freakout" of 2016 was unleashed this morning by a slew of celebrities, bloggers and social media aficionados after they alerted followers to turn on post notifications for future access to their photos, videos and messages. ...

    Relax, your Instagram feed likely isn't changing tomorrow.The great "Insta-freakout" of 2016 was unleashed this morning by a slew of celebrities, bloggers and social media aficionados after they alerted followers to turn on post notifications for future access to their photos, videos and messages. ...


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  • 23/81   'Hack the Pentagon' and get paid legally in new program

    Attention hackers: Time to re-watch “WarGames” and crack your knuckles, the Pentagon is about to pay you to break into some government systems.

    Attention hackers: Time to re-watch “WarGames” and crack your knuckles, the Pentagon is about to pay you to break into some government systems.


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  • 24/81   Elon Musk's Hyperloop Vision Could Be Ready for Passengers by 2018

    The Hyperloop, Elon Musk's vision of launching humans through pods inside a high-speed transportation system, could be ready for passengers by 2018, according to a company building a transportation track in California.  One company working to make Musk's vision a reality, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, said it has filed for construction permits in Quay Valley, California, for a 5-mile track.  'We are announcing the filing of the first building permit to Kings County to the building of the first full-scale hyperloop, not a test track,' Bibop Gresta, the chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during a CNBC/TradeShift event.

    The Hyperloop, Elon Musk's vision of launching humans through pods inside a high-speed transportation system, could be ready for passengers by 2018, according to a company building a transportation track in California. One company working to make Musk's vision a reality, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, said it has filed for construction permits in Quay Valley, California, for a 5-mile track. 'We are announcing the filing of the first building permit to Kings County to the building of the first full-scale hyperloop, not a test track,' Bibop Gresta, the chief operating officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during a CNBC/TradeShift event.


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  • 25/81   Avowed Apple Fan Jeb Bush Realizes His Apple Watch Can Take Phone Calls

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”


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  • 26/81   Man Proposes by Text Message While Stranded at Chicago's O’Hare Airport

    An Arizona man waiting to fly home to propose to his girlfriend was forced to propose to her via text message after spending 50 hours stranded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.  Danny Roderique, of Phoenix, had the diamond engagement ring in his pocket but the delay got in the way of the proposal he’d planned.  “I’ve been stranded now in the airport for 50 hours,” Roderique told a reporter from ABC affiliate WLS-TV while still waiting at O’Hare on Monday.

    An Arizona man waiting to fly home to propose to his girlfriend was forced to propose to her via text message after spending 50 hours stranded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Danny Roderique, of Phoenix, had the diamond engagement ring in his pocket but the delay got in the way of the proposal he’d planned. “I’ve been stranded now in the airport for 50 hours,” Roderique told a reporter from ABC affiliate WLS-TV while still waiting at O’Hare on Monday.


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  • 27/81   Twitter Warns Some Users Over Possible Government Hacking

    It's unclear how many people received a letter from Twitter.  In October, Facebook said it would begin issuing alerts to users who the social network believes are being targeted by state-sponsored hackers, according to a message posted by Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer.

    It's unclear how many people received a letter from Twitter. In October, Facebook said it would begin issuing alerts to users who the social network believes are being targeted by state-sponsored hackers, according to a message posted by Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer.


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  • 28/81   Facebook Notifications Get Even More Personal

    Facebook notifications may now be your first stop in the morning to catch up on everything from friends' news to weather, sports scores and what to expect later in the day.  The social network announced this week it will be rolling out expanded, personalized notifications in the Facebook across iOS and Android devices for users in the United States.  The mobile update is bringing a set of new card-like notifications that will include information such as sports scores for teams you have liked, TV shows, weather information and friends' life events, among other updates.

    Facebook notifications may now be your first stop in the morning to catch up on everything from friends' news to weather, sports scores and what to expect later in the day. The social network announced this week it will be rolling out expanded, personalized notifications in the Facebook across iOS and Android devices for users in the United States. The mobile update is bringing a set of new card-like notifications that will include information such as sports scores for teams you have liked, TV shows, weather information and friends' life events, among other updates.


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  • 29/81   How to Tell Which Apps Are Draining Your iPhone Battery

    Some iOS 9 users have complained Facebook's app has been excessively eating away at their battery life, even when the background app refresh setting is disabled.  It's unclear what possible issue may be causing the battery drain.  Tapping the list will show how much of the battery drain was spent when the app was running in the background.

    Some iOS 9 users have complained Facebook's app has been excessively eating away at their battery life, even when the background app refresh setting is disabled. It's unclear what possible issue may be causing the battery drain. Tapping the list will show how much of the battery drain was spent when the app was running in the background.


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  • 30/81   Armed Robbery Suspect Tries Using Uber as Getaway Car, Police Say

    A 23-year-old man suspected of armed robbery tried to take an Uber car to help him get away after he held up a store outside Baltimore, police said.  The suspect, Dashawn Terrell Cochran, was at a store in Parkville, Maryland, early Wednesday morning when he allegedly took a bottle of Tylenol cold medicine to the register, the Baltimore County Police Department said.  Cochran was seen getting into the back of a silver Lexus, and when officers pulled the car over, the driver said he was an Uber driver, police said.

    A 23-year-old man suspected of armed robbery tried to take an Uber car to help him get away after he held up a store outside Baltimore, police said. The suspect, Dashawn Terrell Cochran, was at a store in Parkville, Maryland, early Wednesday morning when he allegedly took a bottle of Tylenol cold medicine to the register, the Baltimore County Police Department said. Cochran was seen getting into the back of a silver Lexus, and when officers pulled the car over, the driver said he was an Uber driver, police said.


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  • 31/81   Drone Popularity Draws Concern From Pilots, Federal Officials

    Roughly 700,000 drones are expected to be sold in the United States this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.  The Federal Aviation Administration plans to meet with Walmart, which has 19 different kinds of drones for sale on its website, to teach salespeople about what it should tell its customers about safe drone operation.  The Consumer Electronics Association projects the U.S. drone market to climb above $100 million in revenue this year, an increase of more than 50 percent from last year’s total.

    Roughly 700,000 drones are expected to be sold in the United States this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to meet with Walmart, which has 19 different kinds of drones for sale on its website, to teach salespeople about what it should tell its customers about safe drone operation. The Consumer Electronics Association projects the U.S. drone market to climb above $100 million in revenue this year, an increase of more than 50 percent from last year’s total.


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  • 32/81   Carly Fiorina: Why She Wants Everyone to Throw Out Their Flip Phones

    Carly Fiorina is putting flip phone users on notice: You’re going to have to upgrade under a President Fiorina.  “How many of you have a flip phone?” Fiorina recently asked a town hall in South Carolina.  It’s all part of a vision the Republican presidential candidate has to give citizens a direct line of communication – literally – to the president.

    Carly Fiorina is putting flip phone users on notice: You’re going to have to upgrade under a President Fiorina. “How many of you have a flip phone?” Fiorina recently asked a town hall in South Carolina. It’s all part of a vision the Republican presidential candidate has to give citizens a direct line of communication – literally – to the president.


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  • 33/81   How a 'Programming Error' Led to an Oregon Couple's $2 Million Cell Phone Bill

    A couple in Oregon say they spent 10 months trying to clear up a whopping $2 million phone bill, which they say has prevented them from buying the home of their dreams.  Ken Slusher and his girlfriend, of Damascus, Oregon, have a balance of $2,156,593.64 on a Verizon Wireless bill that was for a wireless account that they opened in November.  'Yeah, it's been very stressful to say the least,' Slusher told KPTV.com.

    A couple in Oregon say they spent 10 months trying to clear up a whopping $2 million phone bill, which they say has prevented them from buying the home of their dreams. Ken Slusher and his girlfriend, of Damascus, Oregon, have a balance of $2,156,593.64 on a Verizon Wireless bill that was for a wireless account that they opened in November. 'Yeah, it's been very stressful to say the least,' Slusher told KPTV.com.


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  • 34/81   Social media welcomes Pope Francis to the United States

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday.  As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit.  Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday. As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit. Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.


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  • 35/81   DOJ seeks data on nursing home deaths in 4 states led by Democrats
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The governors' actions at the height of the pandemic were designed to ensure hospitals had enough bed space for the most serious COVID cases.

    The governors' actions at the height of the pandemic were designed to ensure hospitals had enough bed space for the most serious COVID cases.


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  • 36/81   Focus Laboratories Targets Utilizes Their Online Presence to Bring Their O3+Maqui™ to More Customers Across the U.S.
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Focus Laboratories expands the online availability of their ocular health supplements in the United States at a time when the e-commerce market has taken precedence over in-store purchases. Focus Laboratories' cutting edge O3+Maqui™ supplements are currently available for purchase online through various e-commerce retailers. Focus Laboratories prides itself on creating unique and effective products for both health professionals and everyday customers.

    Focus Laboratories expands the online availability of their ocular health supplements in the United States at a time when the e-commerce market has taken precedence over in-store purchases. Focus Laboratories' cutting edge O3+Maqui™ supplements are currently available for purchase online through various e-commerce retailers. Focus Laboratories prides itself on creating unique and effective products for both health professionals and everyday customers.


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  • 37/81   What Businesses Should Be Doing Right Now to Increase Consumer Trust
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The pandemic has brought customer trust to an all-time low, and it's more important today than ever before for businesses to be more transparent and authentic.

    The pandemic has brought customer trust to an all-time low, and it's more important today than ever before for businesses to be more transparent and authentic.


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  • 38/81   Tiffany Reports Quarterly Profits Despite Prior Year Sales Dip
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Meanwhile, the luxury jeweler and LVMH have three more months to complete the $16.2 billion merger.

    Meanwhile, the luxury jeweler and LVMH have three more months to complete the $16.2 billion merger.


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  • 39/81   AEA Group Brings Medically Tested Masks to the Public in the Midst of No FDA Regulation
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    In the US, no standards are enforced for face masks outside of the medical sector, but AEA Group LLC has stepped out to make approved, certified and tested face masks accessible online especially for the public. Doctors and nurses are all required to wear face masks that are FDA certified. However, with no such regulations for the public, the market gets filled with untested and substandard masks.

    In the US, no standards are enforced for face masks outside of the medical sector, but AEA Group LLC has stepped out to make approved, certified and tested face masks accessible online especially for the public. Doctors and nurses are all required to wear face masks that are FDA certified. However, with no such regulations for the public, the market gets filled with untested and substandard masks.


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  • 40/81   Sequoia Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies for Fifth Consecutive Year
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Sequoia Holdings LLC has secured a spot on Inc. Magazine's Inc. 5000 list of the country's fastest-growing private companies for the fifth year in a row.

    Sequoia Holdings LLC has secured a spot on Inc. Magazine's Inc. 5000 list of the country's fastest-growing private companies for the fifth year in a row.


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  • 41/81   2021 Kia Stinger engine details revealed, and it's getting more power
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Powertrain details on the updated Kia Stinger are out, and the theme is more power.  Kia didn’t explicitly say it was dropping the smaller four-cylinder here, but it’s no stretch to assume the less powerful engine will disappear once the new cars begin to ship.  Kia stays the course with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 in this case, but it’s added a new electronic exhaust valve system that unlocks more noise and three extra horsepower.

    Powertrain details on the updated Kia Stinger are out, and the theme is more power. Kia didn’t explicitly say it was dropping the smaller four-cylinder here, but it’s no stretch to assume the less powerful engine will disappear once the new cars begin to ship. Kia stays the course with the 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 in this case, but it’s added a new electronic exhaust valve system that unlocks more noise and three extra horsepower.


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  • 42/81   Fact-checking Night 3 of the Republican National Convention
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The third night of the RNC featured Lara Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

    The third night of the RNC featured Lara Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.


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  • 43/81   Tucker Carlson says teen charged with killing Wisconsin protesters was trying to 'maintain order when no one else would'
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has sparked controversy after claiming a teenager charged with killing demonstrators in Wisconsin protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake was trying to “maintain order when no one else would”.The television personality made the controversial comments as protests over the police-shooting of Mr Blake continued throughout the week, after video footage of the confrontation between a white officer and Mr Blake, a black man, went viral and drew national media attention.

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has sparked controversy after claiming a teenager charged with killing demonstrators in Wisconsin protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake was trying to “maintain order when no one else would”.The television personality made the controversial comments as protests over the police-shooting of Mr Blake continued throughout the week, after video footage of the confrontation between a white officer and Mr Blake, a black man, went viral and drew national media attention.


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  • 44/81   Taliban kill four survivors of Afghanistan flash floods
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Taliban fighters killed four civilians on Thursday during clashes with Afghan forces in the central province of Parwan, amid rescue work after flash floods claimed more than 150 lives, officials said.  It was the latest violence amid peace talks between the warring sides that have been delayed over the issue of prisoner releases, as part of efforts to end the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, which has spanned nearly two decades.  'Taliban fighters opened fire on civilians fleeing areas worst hit by the flash floods,' said Abdul Shukoor Qudoosi, a district official in Bagram, home to the country's biggest U.S. military base and the site of the clashes.

    Taliban fighters killed four civilians on Thursday during clashes with Afghan forces in the central province of Parwan, amid rescue work after flash floods claimed more than 150 lives, officials said. It was the latest violence amid peace talks between the warring sides that have been delayed over the issue of prisoner releases, as part of efforts to end the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, which has spanned nearly two decades. 'Taliban fighters opened fire on civilians fleeing areas worst hit by the flash floods,' said Abdul Shukoor Qudoosi, a district official in Bagram, home to the country's biggest U.S. military base and the site of the clashes.


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  • 45/81   Hurricane Laura ‘will cause unsurvivable storm surge’
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Hurricane Laura is heading for Texas and Louisiana with wind speeds of up to 150 mph (240km/h).

    Hurricane Laura is heading for Texas and Louisiana with wind speeds of up to 150 mph (240km/h).


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  • 46/81   A woman says that the 19-year-old Kansas House candidate who admitted to revenge porn choked and slapped her within the last year
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Kansas House candidate Aaron Coleman admitted to bullying and harassing girls in middle school. His ex says he assaulted her in the last year.

    Kansas House candidate Aaron Coleman admitted to bullying and harassing girls in middle school. His ex says he assaulted her in the last year.


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  • 47/81   ‘Putin’s Chef’ Threatens to Destroy Alexei Navalny in the Courts if He Survives Poisoning
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    A notorious ally of Vladimir Putin says he will use Russia’s corrupt courts to destroy Alexei Navalny financially if the stricken opposition leader ever recovers from a chemical agent believed to have been slipped into his tea.Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was sanctioned by the U.S. for financing online efforts to distort the 2016 presidential election, used a company to buy out debts owed by Navalny so that he could increase the financial pressure on the anti-corruption campaigner.He chose the moment that Navalny was at his weakest—unconscious in a hospital bed—to make the announcement. “I intend to strip this group of unscrupulous people of their clothes and shoes,” Prigozhin said.Navalny, the leading opponent of President Putin’s government, is in a coma in a Berlin hospital, where German doctors say they found evidence of cholinesterase inhibitors in his body, which could indicate the use of weapons-grade nerve agents.Prigozhin got the nickname “Putin’s chef” because of the success of his catering company, but his empire, which includes billions of dollars in Russian government contracts, stretches well beyond food preparation. The U.S. government accuses him of funding the Internet Research Agency, an online troll farm that helped to get Donald Trump elected president. Prigozhin is also accused of financing Wagner, a private army used by the Kremlin for some of its most nefarious overseas missions, but he denies any involvement.On Tuesday night, his company Concord announced that it would do everything it could to collect a court-ordered fine of 88 million rubles (around $1.2 million) that he bought from Moskovsky Shkolnik (Moscow Schoolboy), a company Navalny was found guilty of defaming in a video report, according to the Moscow Times. Prigozhin was quoted as saying on Concord’s social-media accounts Wednesday, “If comrade Navalny kicks the bucket, I personally don’t intend to persecute him in this world. I’ll put this off for an indefinite time and then I’ll compensate myself to my pleasure.” He added that if Navalny survives, he would be liable “according to the full severity of Russian law” to pay off his court-ordered debt.Navalny was rushed to a hospital in Omsk last week after losing consciousness on a flight back to Moscow, after campaigning against Putin in local elections.Ivan Zhdanov, a key ally of Navalny and director of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has claimed that Putin must have authorized the suspected poisoning. “He hates what the FBK does too much, exposing him and his entourage.”The Kremlin brushed off the accusation as “hot air” and stood by earlier reports from a Siberian hospital where Navalny was first treated that said no evidence of poisoning had been found. 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.

    A notorious ally of Vladimir Putin says he will use Russia’s corrupt courts to destroy Alexei Navalny financially if the stricken opposition leader ever recovers from a chemical agent believed to have been slipped into his tea.Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was sanctioned by the U.S. for financing online efforts to distort the 2016 presidential election, used a company to buy out debts owed by Navalny so that he could increase the financial pressure on the anti-corruption campaigner.He chose the moment that Navalny was at his weakest—unconscious in a hospital bed—to make the announcement. “I intend to strip this group of unscrupulous people of their clothes and shoes,” Prigozhin said.Navalny, the leading opponent of President Putin’s government, is in a coma in a Berlin hospital, where German doctors say they found evidence of cholinesterase inhibitors in his body, which could indicate the use of weapons-grade nerve agents.Prigozhin got the nickname “Putin’s chef” because of the success of his catering company, but his empire, which includes billions of dollars in Russian government contracts, stretches well beyond food preparation. The U.S. government accuses him of funding the Internet Research Agency, an online troll farm that helped to get Donald Trump elected president. Prigozhin is also accused of financing Wagner, a private army used by the Kremlin for some of its most nefarious overseas missions, but he denies any involvement.On Tuesday night, his company Concord announced that it would do everything it could to collect a court-ordered fine of 88 million rubles (around $1.2 million) that he bought from Moskovsky Shkolnik (Moscow Schoolboy), a company Navalny was found guilty of defaming in a video report, according to the Moscow Times. Prigozhin was quoted as saying on Concord’s social-media accounts Wednesday, “If comrade Navalny kicks the bucket, I personally don’t intend to persecute him in this world. I’ll put this off for an indefinite time and then I’ll compensate myself to my pleasure.” He added that if Navalny survives, he would be liable “according to the full severity of Russian law” to pay off his court-ordered debt.Navalny was rushed to a hospital in Omsk last week after losing consciousness on a flight back to Moscow, after campaigning against Putin in local elections.Ivan Zhdanov, a key ally of Navalny and director of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has claimed that Putin must have authorized the suspected poisoning. “He hates what the FBK does too much, exposing him and his entourage.”The Kremlin brushed off the accusation as “hot air” and stood by earlier reports from a Siberian hospital where Navalny was first treated that said no evidence of poisoning had been found. 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.


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  • 48/81   Three workers trapped 20 feet underground die in sewer manhole, Indiana officials say
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The men were working at a school facility, officials say.

    The men were working at a school facility, officials say.


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  • 49/81   Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum wins re-election to 2nd term in office
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Incumbent Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum won re-election to a second term in office Tuesday, holding off a challenge from a young, Black community organizer and six other candidates to secure another four-year term in office.  The 43-year-old Bynum earned a reputation as a moderate who used data to drive decision making, but he found himself under attack from both the right and left in the city of about 420,000.  Several members of the city’s Black community criticized Bynum for not taking more steps to oversee policing and for failing to stop President Donald Trump from  holding a rally there  in June.

    Incumbent Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum won re-election to a second term in office Tuesday, holding off a challenge from a young, Black community organizer and six other candidates to secure another four-year term in office. The 43-year-old Bynum earned a reputation as a moderate who used data to drive decision making, but he found himself under attack from both the right and left in the city of about 420,000. Several members of the city’s Black community criticized Bynum for not taking more steps to oversee policing and for failing to stop President Donald Trump from holding a rally there in June.


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  • 50/81   Nikki Haley tried to argue the U.S. isn’t racist — but she just proved the opposite point
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    “America is not a racist country. This is personal for me," said ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley

    “America is not a racist country. This is personal for me," said ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley


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  • 51/81   Kyle Rittenhouse, 17-year-old charged in Kenosha protest shootings, considered himself militia, social media posts show
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with shooting three people during a Kenosha protest, thought of himself as a militia member, according to social media posts

    Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with shooting three people during a Kenosha protest, thought of himself as a militia member, according to social media posts


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  • 52/81   Study sheds light on Continental's role as pillar of Nazi war machine
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Germany's Continental, the world's third-biggest auto parts supplier, played a big part in the Nazi's armaments and war economy, using forced labourers to make products such as gas masks, a study presented by the company showed on Thursday.  Conti  commissioned the independent research by historian Paul Erker to explore the darkest chapter of the company's history.  'The study shows that Continental was an important part of Hitler's war machine,' Conti Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said.

    Germany's Continental, the world's third-biggest auto parts supplier, played a big part in the Nazi's armaments and war economy, using forced labourers to make products such as gas masks, a study presented by the company showed on Thursday. Conti commissioned the independent research by historian Paul Erker to explore the darkest chapter of the company's history. 'The study shows that Continental was an important part of Hitler's war machine,' Conti Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said.


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  • 53/81   Climbers twice as likely to reach Mount Everest summit but 'death zone' crowding soars, study shows
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Climbers tackling Mount Everest are twice as likely to make it to the summit and slightly less likely to die than two decades ago, despite a sharp increase in crowding in the so-called 'death zone', a study released on Wednesday showed.  Between 2006 and 2019, around two thirds of climbers were successful in their attempt to reach the summit, compared to around a third in the preceding 15 years, according to the study by the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis.  The number of summit attempts has soared over the decades, leading to four-fold rise in crowding.

    Climbers tackling Mount Everest are twice as likely to make it to the summit and slightly less likely to die than two decades ago, despite a sharp increase in crowding in the so-called 'death zone', a study released on Wednesday showed. Between 2006 and 2019, around two thirds of climbers were successful in their attempt to reach the summit, compared to around a third in the preceding 15 years, according to the study by the University of Washington and the University of California, Davis. The number of summit attempts has soared over the decades, leading to four-fold rise in crowding.


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  • 54/81   Study sheds light on Continental's role as pillar of Nazi war machine
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Germany's Continental, the world's third-biggest auto parts supplier, played a big part in the Nazi's armaments and war economy, using forced labourers to make products such as gas masks, a study presented by the company showed on Thursday.  Conti  commissioned the independent research by historian Paul Erker to explore the darkest chapter of the company's history.  'The study shows that Continental was an important part of Hitler's war machine,' Conti Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said.

    Germany's Continental, the world's third-biggest auto parts supplier, played a big part in the Nazi's armaments and war economy, using forced labourers to make products such as gas masks, a study presented by the company showed on Thursday. Conti commissioned the independent research by historian Paul Erker to explore the darkest chapter of the company's history. 'The study shows that Continental was an important part of Hitler's war machine,' Conti Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said.


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  • 55/81   Does a face mask protect me, or just the people around me?
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Studies on the new coronavirus and other germs show wearing a mask helps stop infected people from spreading disease to others.  Surgical or cloth face masks can block most of those particles from spreading.  While some droplets may still spread out, wearing a mask could reduce the amount, providing a benefit to others.

    Studies on the new coronavirus and other germs show wearing a mask helps stop infected people from spreading disease to others. Surgical or cloth face masks can block most of those particles from spreading. While some droplets may still spread out, wearing a mask could reduce the amount, providing a benefit to others.


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  • 56/81   Microsoft, PNNL and UW leap into White House’s $1B initiative for AI and quantum research
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Microsoft, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington are playing supporting roles in the White House's $1 billion effort to advance research into artificial intelligence and quantum information science. Those three organizations have already been working together through the Northwest Quantum Nexus to develop the infrastructure for quantum computers, which promise to open up new possibilities in fields ranging from chemistry to systems optimization and financial modeling. The initiatives announced today are likely to accelerate progress toward the development of commercial-scale quantum computers, Chetan Nayak, Microsoft's general manager for quantum hardware, said in a blog posting. "Today… Read More

    Microsoft, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington are playing supporting roles in the White House's $1 billion effort to advance research into artificial intelligence and quantum information science. Those three organizations have already been working together through the Northwest Quantum Nexus to develop the infrastructure for quantum computers, which promise to open up new possibilities in fields ranging from chemistry to systems optimization and financial modeling. The initiatives announced today are likely to accelerate progress toward the development of commercial-scale quantum computers, Chetan Nayak, Microsoft's general manager for quantum hardware, said in a blog posting. "Today… Read More


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  • 57/81   Moderna COVID-19 vaccine appears to work as well in older adults in early study
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    The latest data from an early Phase I study includes an analysis from 20 additional people detailing how the vaccine performed in older adults.  The analysis looked at subjects given the 100-microgram dose being tested in the much larger Phase III trial.  Moderna said the immune responses in those aged between ages 56 and 70, above age 70 and those 18 to 55-years-old were similar.

    The latest data from an early Phase I study includes an analysis from 20 additional people detailing how the vaccine performed in older adults. The analysis looked at subjects given the 100-microgram dose being tested in the much larger Phase III trial. Moderna said the immune responses in those aged between ages 56 and 70, above age 70 and those 18 to 55-years-old were similar.


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  • 58/81   New CDC study offers the strongest evidence yet that COVID-19 can spread in airplanes
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    The South Korean researchers say hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distance at all times can mitigate the risk of transmission.

    The South Korean researchers say hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distance at all times can mitigate the risk of transmission.


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  • 59/81   Damage from whopper hurricanes rising for many reasons
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    A destructive storm is rising from warm waters.  America and the world are getting more frequent and bigger multibillion dollar tropical catastrophes like Hurricane Laura, which is menacing the U.S. Gulf Coast, because of a combination of increased coastal development, natural climate cycles, reductions in air pollution and man-made climate change, experts say.  It's a mess at least partially of our own making, said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Institute at the University of South Carolina.

    A destructive storm is rising from warm waters. America and the world are getting more frequent and bigger multibillion dollar tropical catastrophes like Hurricane Laura, which is menacing the U.S. Gulf Coast, because of a combination of increased coastal development, natural climate cycles, reductions in air pollution and man-made climate change, experts say. It's a mess at least partially of our own making, said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Institute at the University of South Carolina.


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  • 60/81   How low did it go? Scientists calculate Earth's Ice Age temperatures
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Guided by ocean plankton fossils and climate models, scientists have calculated just how cold it got on Earth during the depths of the last Ice Age, when immense ice sheets covered large parts of North America, South America, Europe and Asia.  The average global temperature during the period known as the Last Glacial Maximum from roughly 23,000 to 19,000 years ago was about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 degrees Celsius), some 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) colder than 2019, the researchers said on Wednesday.  The polar regions cooled far more than the tropics, with the Arctic region 25 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degree Celsius) colder than the global average.

    Guided by ocean plankton fossils and climate models, scientists have calculated just how cold it got on Earth during the depths of the last Ice Age, when immense ice sheets covered large parts of North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The average global temperature during the period known as the Last Glacial Maximum from roughly 23,000 to 19,000 years ago was about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 degrees Celsius), some 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) colder than 2019, the researchers said on Wednesday. The polar regions cooled far more than the tropics, with the Arctic region 25 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degree Celsius) colder than the global average.


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  • 61/81   Why hurricanes hardly ever hit Europe
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Hurricane season can be a frightening time for people near the East Coast of the US, but Europe rarely ever sees full-on hurricanes reach its shores.

    Hurricane season can be a frightening time for people near the East Coast of the US, but Europe rarely ever sees full-on hurricanes reach its shores.


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  • 62/81   Religious tourism has been hit hard in the pandemic as sites close and pilgrimages are put on hold
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Religious tourism is among the oldest forms of planned travel and to this day remains a huge industry.About 300 to 330 million tourists visit the world’s key religious sites every year, according to a 2017 estimate. Some 600 million national and international religious trips are made around the world, generating around US$18 billion in global revenues. It makes up a sizeable chunk of an overall tourism sector that has been significantly affected by the spread of the coroanvirus, with 63.8% of travelers reducing their travel plans as a result.  A concern of all faithsAs COVID-19 evolved to become a global pandemic, governments across the globe closed sacred sites and temporarily banned religious travel.It has affected popular destinations of all faiths. Jerusalem, Vatican City and Mecca – which attract millions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim visitors annually – are among the worst affected. Likewise, Buddhist sites such as Nepal’s Lumbini Temple and India’s Mahabodhi Temple, as well as the Hindu temple of Kashi Vishwanath, have seen a slump in visitors.This has had huge financial implications for the host countries.For example, last year approximately 2.5 million Muslims from around the world performed the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, with nearly 2 million coming from outside of Saudi Arabia.However, this year only around 10,000 people were expected to do the pilgrimage while observing social distancing measures.The Saudi Kingdom usually earns $12 billion per year from the hajj and the Umrah – a minor pilgrimage that can be done anytime during the year. The pilgrimages are seen as a way to diversify the economy from being reliant on the oil sector. Year-round religious visits contributes to 20% of the kingdom’s nonoil GDP and around 7% of the total GDP. The Saudi Kingdom’s economy is already reeling from the impact of low oil prices, which have led to a budget deficit. It is expected to shrink by 6.8% in 2020.[Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.] Religion and revenuesSaudi Arabia is far from alone. Jordan, which hosts 35 Islamic sites and shrines and 34 Christian holy sites, has closed its borders because of COVID-19. Tourism accounts for about 15% of the country’s GDP and sustains an estimated 55,000 jobs. Last year more than 1 million travelers visited Wadi Musa, the Jordanian Valley of Moses – an important site where Moses is said to have produced water from a rock. Up to 80% of people’s income in the area relies on tourism.Tourism revenues in Jordan dropped by 10.7% to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as the pandemic spread.It is a similar story across the Middle East. In Iran, only 20,000 domestic tourists and 66 foreign tourists visited Yazd – a UNESCO world heritage site that dates back to A.D. 224 – between March and June 2020. The site is a holy place for followers of Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. The number of tourists this year represents just 1% of the figure for the previous year.In June, just 5,800 people visited Israel, a religiously important destination for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike, compared to 365,000 for the same month in 2019. It is expected that the pandemic will result in a $1.16 billion damage to the country’s tourism industry, according to the Israel Hotel Association.For some prominent individual sites of pilgrimage, the loss of revenue has been devastating – and it is an experience shared across the globe.Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in France usually welcomes up to 5 million visitors every year. But in order to curtail the spread in France, the shrine closed, offering only virtual pilgrimages. It has reportedly resulted in a deficit of $9.06 million for the sanctuary. Many places of pilgrimage support a whole industry in travel, transport and accommodation, and all that has taken a hit.For the entire travel industry, this unprecedented crisis has resulted in a $2.7 trillion drop in revenue and job losses in excess of 100 million in 2020. The United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates that for the year, international arrivals will be down by between 850 million to 1.1 billion, depending on when borders fully reopen. Spiritual well-beingAnd it isn’t just about the financial hit. Uncertainty and anxiety related to COVID-19 also affects people’s psychological and mental health. Many people indulge in religious tourism for reasons of spiritual comfort or to pray for forgiveness or salvation.For others it is a way to demonstrate their devotion to a faith. In some religions, there is a belief that all individuals who are healthy and financially able to should undertake a journey to their respective holy sites at least once in their lifetime. This is true, for example, for Muslims and participation in the hajj.As such, people may have put away savings their entire life and planned for years for such a trip. Having to abandon these plans due to travel restrictions or the closure of religious sites can be particularly distressing.Government subsidies and relief packages, along with the implementation of comprehensive safety and recovery measures, can help revive customer trust and lead to increased travel.But as scholars of the travel industry, we do believe that due to the ongoing travel restrictions and a slump in confidence in travel amid the pandemic, countries with a heavy reliance on tourism will likely continue to face challenges. And the uncertainty and possibility of newer waves of virus may further dent the tourism industry, including religious travel.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more:    * British TV drama may look world class, but coronavirus has exposed a darker reality  * COVID-19 cases are highest in young adults. We need to partner with them for the health of the whole communityThe authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Religious tourism is among the oldest forms of planned travel and to this day remains a huge industry.About 300 to 330 million tourists visit the world’s key religious sites every year, according to a 2017 estimate. Some 600 million national and international religious trips are made around the world, generating around US$18 billion in global revenues. It makes up a sizeable chunk of an overall tourism sector that has been significantly affected by the spread of the coroanvirus, with 63.8% of travelers reducing their travel plans as a result. A concern of all faithsAs COVID-19 evolved to become a global pandemic, governments across the globe closed sacred sites and temporarily banned religious travel.It has affected popular destinations of all faiths. Jerusalem, Vatican City and Mecca – which attract millions of Jewish, Christian and Muslim visitors annually – are among the worst affected. Likewise, Buddhist sites such as Nepal’s Lumbini Temple and India’s Mahabodhi Temple, as well as the Hindu temple of Kashi Vishwanath, have seen a slump in visitors.This has had huge financial implications for the host countries.For example, last year approximately 2.5 million Muslims from around the world performed the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, with nearly 2 million coming from outside of Saudi Arabia.However, this year only around 10,000 people were expected to do the pilgrimage while observing social distancing measures.The Saudi Kingdom usually earns $12 billion per year from the hajj and the Umrah – a minor pilgrimage that can be done anytime during the year. The pilgrimages are seen as a way to diversify the economy from being reliant on the oil sector. Year-round religious visits contributes to 20% of the kingdom’s nonoil GDP and around 7% of the total GDP. The Saudi Kingdom’s economy is already reeling from the impact of low oil prices, which have led to a budget deficit. It is expected to shrink by 6.8% in 2020.[Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.] Religion and revenuesSaudi Arabia is far from alone. Jordan, which hosts 35 Islamic sites and shrines and 34 Christian holy sites, has closed its borders because of COVID-19. Tourism accounts for about 15% of the country’s GDP and sustains an estimated 55,000 jobs. Last year more than 1 million travelers visited Wadi Musa, the Jordanian Valley of Moses – an important site where Moses is said to have produced water from a rock. Up to 80% of people’s income in the area relies on tourism.Tourism revenues in Jordan dropped by 10.7% to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as the pandemic spread.It is a similar story across the Middle East. In Iran, only 20,000 domestic tourists and 66 foreign tourists visited Yazd – a UNESCO world heritage site that dates back to A.D. 224 – between March and June 2020. The site is a holy place for followers of Islam, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. The number of tourists this year represents just 1% of the figure for the previous year.In June, just 5,800 people visited Israel, a religiously important destination for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike, compared to 365,000 for the same month in 2019. It is expected that the pandemic will result in a $1.16 billion damage to the country’s tourism industry, according to the Israel Hotel Association.For some prominent individual sites of pilgrimage, the loss of revenue has been devastating – and it is an experience shared across the globe.Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in France usually welcomes up to 5 million visitors every year. But in order to curtail the spread in France, the shrine closed, offering only virtual pilgrimages. It has reportedly resulted in a deficit of $9.06 million for the sanctuary. Many places of pilgrimage support a whole industry in travel, transport and accommodation, and all that has taken a hit.For the entire travel industry, this unprecedented crisis has resulted in a $2.7 trillion drop in revenue and job losses in excess of 100 million in 2020. The United Nations World Tourism Organization estimates that for the year, international arrivals will be down by between 850 million to 1.1 billion, depending on when borders fully reopen. Spiritual well-beingAnd it isn’t just about the financial hit. Uncertainty and anxiety related to COVID-19 also affects people’s psychological and mental health. Many people indulge in religious tourism for reasons of spiritual comfort or to pray for forgiveness or salvation.For others it is a way to demonstrate their devotion to a faith. In some religions, there is a belief that all individuals who are healthy and financially able to should undertake a journey to their respective holy sites at least once in their lifetime. This is true, for example, for Muslims and participation in the hajj.As such, people may have put away savings their entire life and planned for years for such a trip. Having to abandon these plans due to travel restrictions or the closure of religious sites can be particularly distressing.Government subsidies and relief packages, along with the implementation of comprehensive safety and recovery measures, can help revive customer trust and lead to increased travel.But as scholars of the travel industry, we do believe that due to the ongoing travel restrictions and a slump in confidence in travel amid the pandemic, countries with a heavy reliance on tourism will likely continue to face challenges. And the uncertainty and possibility of newer waves of virus may further dent the tourism industry, including religious travel.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * British TV drama may look world class, but coronavirus has exposed a darker reality * COVID-19 cases are highest in young adults. We need to partner with them for the health of the whole communityThe authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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  • 63/81   Trump's foreign policy is still 'America First' – what does that mean, exactly?
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    At the Republican National Convention, supporters of President Trump’s reelection bid have celebrated his attempts to build a Mexico border wall, his promise to “bring our troops home” and his pledge to end U.S. “reliance on China.”All are components of the “America First” agenda Trump ran on in 2016. Back then, he promised to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy.” Four years later, it’s clearer what this looks like in practice. As a foreign policy analyst, I find Trump’s “America First” vision has had three primary strands: disengaging the U.S. from global politics, disdaining allies and befriending autocratic leaders. 1\. Exiting the global stageEarly in Trump’s administration, the U.S. exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade alliance of mostly Asian countries, and the 2015 Paris climate accord. In May 2020, with the United States leading the world in COVID-19 infections, Trump cut funding for the World Health Organization, which is spearheading the global pandemic response. Trump prefers bilateral deals, in which the U.S. usually is the stronger partner, to multilateral agreements in which its power is offset by many other nations. His administration’s new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement has moderate improvements over the original North American Free Trade Agreement, including stricter labor standards in Mexico. But other pledges to replace scrapped deals with better ones remain unfulfilled. Trump has not yet come up with a “tougher” agreement to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, nor followed up on his pledge to “negotiate a far better” international climate deal.As a result, the U.S. has sat on the sidelines of major world crises and international collaborations for the past three years. New U.S. immigration policies like the Muslim immigration ban and refusal to grant admission to most asylum seekers, both very popular with his base and abhorred by Democrats, further isolate the country from the world.In June, the administration even stopped issuing to immigrants most work visas and new green cards, claiming they were hurting American citizens on the job market during the pandemic. That angered major American companies like Microsoft and Apple, which depend on those international skilled workers.  2\. Broken partnerships“America First” has led to tense relations with the European Union, which Trump referred to as a trading “foe” during the 2016 election campaign. He further alienated America’s European allies when he repeatedly came out in support of Brexit – the disruptive British exit from the EU – and encouraged other EU countries to follow Britain’s lead.In 2018 he told advisers on several occasions that he was considering withdrawing the U.S. from NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded in 1949 to militarily protect European and U.S. interests. These are huge divergences from the past. All Republican and Democratic presidents since World War II have expressed strong – and crucial – support for a united Europe and for NATO.In Asia, relations with longstanding allies are likewise frayed. Trump asked South Korea and Japan to double or even quadruple their financial contributions to keep U.S. military bases on their soil, apparently failing to realize that these bases give the U.S. a strategic presence in a region dominated by China and North Korea. America’s military presence in Asia helps the U.S. gather intelligence and respond quickly to, for instance, a North Korean nuclear attack. [You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can get our highlights each weekend.] 3\. Embracing dictators and autocratsTrump believes his three meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2018 and 2019 – a landmark initiative of his administration – fixed the North Korea threat. But most analysts find North Korea was actually emboldened by American diplomatic engagement. It is now speeding up its nuclear program.Conciliatory behavior toward Kim is part of a trend: Trump has embraced some of the world’s most notorious dictators and autocrats. In Europe, Trump is on good terms only with the proudly undemocratic leaders of Hungary and Poland. He called Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el Sisi “my favorite dictator” and refused to punish Saudi Arabia after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated in the brutal murder of the Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Instead, the White House permitted two U.S. companies to share sensitive nuclear power information with the Saudis. The administration’s relations with Russia, which surreptitiously aided Trump’s 2016 campaign, are unusual.On the whole, his government has pursued a tough policy toward Russia, including imposing harsher sanctions and deploying new NATO forces to the Polish border to protect Eastern Europe.But Trump has denied Russian interfered in the U.S. election, and he talks to Putin more frequently than he does to allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In June he pressed those leaders to invite Putin to a G-7 meeting in Washington. They rejected the idea; Russia was expelled from the club of elite nations after Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, part of Ukraine. Soon after, news broke that Moscow promised to pay Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump dismissed U.S. intelligence on the matter as “fake news.” Several former national security officials say that Trump wishes to avoid antagonizing Putin.  Election 2020Trump has no such qualms with China, a clear bogeyman of his reelection campaign. Trump has been consistently critical of China, even retaliating against what he calls unfair trade practices with his own trade war. Though tough on the U.S. economy, this stance has some bipartisan approval in Washington and among U.S. allies. China’s refusal to stop subsidizing many state-owned enterprises, grant greater market access to foreign firms and protect intellectual property rights are issues of great global concern, as is its increasingly assertive foreign policy. Still, many U.S. China experts believe Trump’s crude rhetorical attacks are unhelpful for finding a constructive way forward. Even the administration’s most initially promising diplomatic initiatives – engaging North Korea, ending the war in Afghanistan and seeking to normalize Israel’s relationships with some of its Arab neighbors – have not resolved these chronic international crises.Back in 2016, “America First” seemed to promise a clear defense of U.S. primacy in a changing world order. That appealed to many voters. Today, the U.S. has all but abdicated its position as the world’s most globally engaged power. China and Russia are busily working to fill the vacuum.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more:    * Jerry Falwell Jr. will leave behind a very different legacy from his influential father  * The China-US rivalry is not a new Cold War. It is way more complex and could last much longerKlaus W. Larres does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    At the Republican National Convention, supporters of President Trump’s reelection bid have celebrated his attempts to build a Mexico border wall, his promise to “bring our troops home” and his pledge to end U.S. “reliance on China.”All are components of the “America First” agenda Trump ran on in 2016. Back then, he promised to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy.” Four years later, it’s clearer what this looks like in practice. As a foreign policy analyst, I find Trump’s “America First” vision has had three primary strands: disengaging the U.S. from global politics, disdaining allies and befriending autocratic leaders. 1\. Exiting the global stageEarly in Trump’s administration, the U.S. exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade alliance of mostly Asian countries, and the 2015 Paris climate accord. In May 2020, with the United States leading the world in COVID-19 infections, Trump cut funding for the World Health Organization, which is spearheading the global pandemic response. Trump prefers bilateral deals, in which the U.S. usually is the stronger partner, to multilateral agreements in which its power is offset by many other nations. His administration’s new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement has moderate improvements over the original North American Free Trade Agreement, including stricter labor standards in Mexico. But other pledges to replace scrapped deals with better ones remain unfulfilled. Trump has not yet come up with a “tougher” agreement to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, nor followed up on his pledge to “negotiate a far better” international climate deal.As a result, the U.S. has sat on the sidelines of major world crises and international collaborations for the past three years. New U.S. immigration policies like the Muslim immigration ban and refusal to grant admission to most asylum seekers, both very popular with his base and abhorred by Democrats, further isolate the country from the world.In June, the administration even stopped issuing to immigrants most work visas and new green cards, claiming they were hurting American citizens on the job market during the pandemic. That angered major American companies like Microsoft and Apple, which depend on those international skilled workers. 2\. Broken partnerships“America First” has led to tense relations with the European Union, which Trump referred to as a trading “foe” during the 2016 election campaign. He further alienated America’s European allies when he repeatedly came out in support of Brexit – the disruptive British exit from the EU – and encouraged other EU countries to follow Britain’s lead.In 2018 he told advisers on several occasions that he was considering withdrawing the U.S. from NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded in 1949 to militarily protect European and U.S. interests. These are huge divergences from the past. All Republican and Democratic presidents since World War II have expressed strong – and crucial – support for a united Europe and for NATO.In Asia, relations with longstanding allies are likewise frayed. Trump asked South Korea and Japan to double or even quadruple their financial contributions to keep U.S. military bases on their soil, apparently failing to realize that these bases give the U.S. a strategic presence in a region dominated by China and North Korea. America’s military presence in Asia helps the U.S. gather intelligence and respond quickly to, for instance, a North Korean nuclear attack. [You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can get our highlights each weekend.] 3\. Embracing dictators and autocratsTrump believes his three meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in 2018 and 2019 – a landmark initiative of his administration – fixed the North Korea threat. But most analysts find North Korea was actually emboldened by American diplomatic engagement. It is now speeding up its nuclear program.Conciliatory behavior toward Kim is part of a trend: Trump has embraced some of the world’s most notorious dictators and autocrats. In Europe, Trump is on good terms only with the proudly undemocratic leaders of Hungary and Poland. He called Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el Sisi “my favorite dictator” and refused to punish Saudi Arabia after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated in the brutal murder of the Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Instead, the White House permitted two U.S. companies to share sensitive nuclear power information with the Saudis. The administration’s relations with Russia, which surreptitiously aided Trump’s 2016 campaign, are unusual.On the whole, his government has pursued a tough policy toward Russia, including imposing harsher sanctions and deploying new NATO forces to the Polish border to protect Eastern Europe.But Trump has denied Russian interfered in the U.S. election, and he talks to Putin more frequently than he does to allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In June he pressed those leaders to invite Putin to a G-7 meeting in Washington. They rejected the idea; Russia was expelled from the club of elite nations after Putin’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, part of Ukraine. Soon after, news broke that Moscow promised to pay Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump dismissed U.S. intelligence on the matter as “fake news.” Several former national security officials say that Trump wishes to avoid antagonizing Putin. Election 2020Trump has no such qualms with China, a clear bogeyman of his reelection campaign. Trump has been consistently critical of China, even retaliating against what he calls unfair trade practices with his own trade war. Though tough on the U.S. economy, this stance has some bipartisan approval in Washington and among U.S. allies. China’s refusal to stop subsidizing many state-owned enterprises, grant greater market access to foreign firms and protect intellectual property rights are issues of great global concern, as is its increasingly assertive foreign policy. Still, many U.S. China experts believe Trump’s crude rhetorical attacks are unhelpful for finding a constructive way forward. Even the administration’s most initially promising diplomatic initiatives – engaging North Korea, ending the war in Afghanistan and seeking to normalize Israel’s relationships with some of its Arab neighbors – have not resolved these chronic international crises.Back in 2016, “America First” seemed to promise a clear defense of U.S. primacy in a changing world order. That appealed to many voters. Today, the U.S. has all but abdicated its position as the world’s most globally engaged power. China and Russia are busily working to fill the vacuum.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Jerry Falwell Jr. will leave behind a very different legacy from his influential father * The China-US rivalry is not a new Cold War. It is way more complex and could last much longerKlaus W. Larres does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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  • 64/81   Putin Says He Has Reserve Officers Ready to Send to Belarus If Protests ‘Get Out of Hand’
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Vladimir Putin says he has formed a reserve of law enforcement officers to send to Belarus to help president Alexander Lukashenko if necessary, Russian media reported on Thursday. Putin said he will not deploy these forces unless “extremist elements in Belarus cross a line and start plundering.” Speaking to the state-run Rossia 1 broadcaster, he said the law enforcement agents would be on standby in case pro-democracy protests strengthened. “We’ve agreed that [the reserve] will not be used until the situation starts getting out of control,” Putin said, according to The Moscow Times.Earlier in the week, Russian media reported that Putin had offered to help, but it was yet unclear in what way. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Russian journalists replaced striking Belarus journalists at the country’s state television station in mid-August, and have been spreading Russian propaganda ever since. The Belarus journalists who walked off the job have not been allowed to return, creating a vaccum which likely helped fuel Lukashenko’s highly-contested presidential win which sparked country-wide protests calling for his ouster.The Belarus population has long been anti-Russia, with a recent poll showing that 93 percent of the population against Russia taking over the country, but Lukashenko has been demonstrably pro-Putin.When protests raged after Lukashenko’s suspicious reelection against the popular opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who has become the figurehead of the protests and a target of Russian misinformation. 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.

    Vladimir Putin says he has formed a reserve of law enforcement officers to send to Belarus to help president Alexander Lukashenko if necessary, Russian media reported on Thursday. Putin said he will not deploy these forces unless “extremist elements in Belarus cross a line and start plundering.” Speaking to the state-run Rossia 1 broadcaster, he said the law enforcement agents would be on standby in case pro-democracy protests strengthened. “We’ve agreed that [the reserve] will not be used until the situation starts getting out of control,” Putin said, according to The Moscow Times.Earlier in the week, Russian media reported that Putin had offered to help, but it was yet unclear in what way. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Russian journalists replaced striking Belarus journalists at the country’s state television station in mid-August, and have been spreading Russian propaganda ever since. The Belarus journalists who walked off the job have not been allowed to return, creating a vaccum which likely helped fuel Lukashenko’s highly-contested presidential win which sparked country-wide protests calling for his ouster.The Belarus population has long been anti-Russia, with a recent poll showing that 93 percent of the population against Russia taking over the country, but Lukashenko has been demonstrably pro-Putin.When protests raged after Lukashenko’s suspicious reelection against the popular opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who has become the figurehead of the protests and a target of Russian misinformation. 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.


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  • 65/81   Russia blames US for military vehicles' collision in Syria
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The Russian military on Thursday blamed U.S. troops for a collision of Russian and U.S. military vehicles in Syria's northeast.  U.S. officials said Wednesday that a Russian vehicle sideswiped a light-armored U.S. military vehicle, injuring four Americans, while two Russian helicopters flew overhead, one as close as 20 meters (70 feet) from the U.S. vehicle.  U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement that a Russian vehicle struck the American vehicle near Dayrick, in northeast Syria.

    The Russian military on Thursday blamed U.S. troops for a collision of Russian and U.S. military vehicles in Syria's northeast. U.S. officials said Wednesday that a Russian vehicle sideswiped a light-armored U.S. military vehicle, injuring four Americans, while two Russian helicopters flew overhead, one as close as 20 meters (70 feet) from the U.S. vehicle. U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a statement that a Russian vehicle struck the American vehicle near Dayrick, in northeast Syria.


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  • 66/81   Russia announces preliminary probe into Navalny's illness
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    Russian police on Thursday announced a preliminary probe into the circumstances of the sudden illness of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who fell into a coma last week following a suspected poisoning and amid growing pressure from Western officials to investigate.  According to a statement released Thursday by a Siberian branch of Russia's Interior Ministry, investigators in Siberia have been working on “establishing all the circumstances of the incident,' conducting forensic studies and collecting items “that may have probative value.'  Navalny, an opposition politician and corruption investigator who is one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia last Thursday and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

    Russian police on Thursday announced a preliminary probe into the circumstances of the sudden illness of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who fell into a coma last week following a suspected poisoning and amid growing pressure from Western officials to investigate. According to a statement released Thursday by a Siberian branch of Russia's Interior Ministry, investigators in Siberia have been working on “establishing all the circumstances of the incident,' conducting forensic studies and collecting items “that may have probative value.' Navalny, an opposition politician and corruption investigator who is one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia last Thursday and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.


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  • 67/81   Vladimir Putin dismisses accusations that Alexei Navalny was poisoned as Russia launches probe
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Vladimir Putin has dismissed accusations that Alexei Navalny was poisoned as “hasty and unfounded” in his first comments since the Russian opposition leader was taken suddenly ill a week ago. The Russian President said he would back a “thorough and objective investigation”, despite the Kremlin saying earlier it saw no need for a criminal probe. Mr Putin’s comments came as he discussed the situation in a phone call with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according to a Kremlin statement. Doctors at the German hospital where Mr Navalny remains unconscious said multiple tests showed he had been poisoned with a “cholinesterase inhibitor”. These are a group of chemical compounds that includes Novichok, the nerve agent used against ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

    Vladimir Putin has dismissed accusations that Alexei Navalny was poisoned as “hasty and unfounded” in his first comments since the Russian opposition leader was taken suddenly ill a week ago. The Russian President said he would back a “thorough and objective investigation”, despite the Kremlin saying earlier it saw no need for a criminal probe. Mr Putin’s comments came as he discussed the situation in a phone call with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according to a Kremlin statement. Doctors at the German hospital where Mr Navalny remains unconscious said multiple tests showed he had been poisoned with a “cholinesterase inhibitor”. These are a group of chemical compounds that includes Novichok, the nerve agent used against ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.


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  • 68/81   Pompeo ends Mideast trip with visit to Oman's new sultan
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday visited Oman's new sultan, the last stop on a Mideast trip that sought to build on an American-brokered deal to have Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalize relations.  Pompeo's plane landed in Muscat and he traveled to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.  There, Pompeo tweeted that the two leaders spoke “on the importance of building regional peace, stability and prosperity through a united Gulf Cooperation Council.”

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday visited Oman's new sultan, the last stop on a Mideast trip that sought to build on an American-brokered deal to have Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalize relations. Pompeo's plane landed in Muscat and he traveled to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. There, Pompeo tweeted that the two leaders spoke “on the importance of building regional peace, stability and prosperity through a united Gulf Cooperation Council.”


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  • 69/81   West Mathewson: South African conservationist killed by white lions
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Police say two lions attacked the lodge owner as he was taking them for a walk, in front of his wife.

    Police say two lions attacked the lodge owner as he was taking them for a walk, in front of his wife.


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  • 70/81   Is the Republican Party a cult of personality?
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Has the Republican Party degenerated into a cult of personality?It has become something of a journalistic cliché to say so — to argue that veneration of the Dear Leader and ritual denunciation of his enemies has eclipsed any ideas or actual plans for governance that the party may once have had. For those inclined to such a view, the first nights of the Republican National Convention offered some confirmation: in the obsequious praise of the president, the apocalypticism with which the opposition was regarded, and, perhaps most alarmingly, the alternative-reality quality of the discussion of the state of the country and the record of the administration, especially with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. When, in lieu of articulating a platform responsive to radically changed national conditions, a political party simply says that it will support the agenda of its leader, it's hard to dispute that its only remaining tenet is the Führerprinzip.But it's worth pondering a little more deeply what the characterization implies about the future, not only of the GOP but of the country as a whole. The Democrats — very much including former President Obama in his convention speech last week — have engaged in an apocalypticism of their own (which they surely feel is justified), describing this election as the last chance to save American democracy. If the GOP really has become a cult of personality, though, then it will take far more than an election victory — or even multiple such victories — to save it.To explain why requires thinking about what a cult of personality essentially is, and how it is to be distinguished from more normal charismatic leadership as well as from other kinds of extremist movements or quasi-religious forces in politics.The Tea Party, for example, could be characterized as both extreme and paranoid in its view of politics. It certainly threw up some memorably odd characters, and it caused no end of headaches for more mainstream GOP leaders because of its unwillingness to engage in normal political give-and-take. Black Lives Matter can, in some ways, be characterized similarly. The massive protests and sometimes riots that continue to rock the country, flaring up anew with every viral record of apparent police abuse and misconduct (most recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin) are in the service of a profound rethinking of American identity. If it's not always obvious how that rethinking might be instantiated in mundane policy terms, the movement's language sometimes points to radical demands for change that may yet prove difficult to assuage or appease.But these movements were and are largely leaderless. They were expressions of authentic emotion and interest that were capitalized upon with varying degrees of success by existing and new organizations and by individual political entrepreneurs. They weren't — and aren't — properly described as cults.As for charismatic leadership, most successful leaders in a democracy partake of it to some degree, because political power ultimately stems from the ability to mobilize popular support (which is one reason why thinkers like Plato abhorred democracy as a system that would inevitably decay in to demagoguery and tyranny). Leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan built enduring coalitions in part on the strength of their personae, and won long-lasting allegiance from their supporters that long outlasted their presidencies. But their political persuasions were never defined by their individual personalities, but by the ideologies, interests and identities that they championed.To call the contemporary GOP a cult of personality, then, is to assert that the Trump phenomenon is quite different from these antecedents. In a cult of personality, the intense emotion powering the movement is centered on the figure of the leader, who does not move people by persuasion but by proclamation, because the experience of surrendering their wills is what adherents come to seek. In totalitarian regimes like North Korea, the cult is produced in a coordinated fashion by the regime, which has a monopoly on mass-media and the ability to compel popular participation in collective rituals of public adoration. But religious cults arise in conditions of freedom, and there's no reason a political cult couldn't form similarly. Those who use the term to describe Trump's party are implicitly claiming that in America it has.What are the implications if the diagnosis is correct? A cult of personality goes beyond a traditional autocracy where decision-making ultimately rests in the hands of one man, because the people are not merely obedient but generate positive feedback. Lacking the negative-feedback mechanisms common to most political organisms, the behavior of the system becomes as mercurial as the cult leader, with potentially catastrophic consequences.And cults of personality don't necessarily end when the cult leader faces a setback, even a devastating one like the loss of an election. If what binds the GOP's voters to the party is worship of Donald Trump, then if he loses, even decisively, the question will not be what Trump did wrong but whose betrayal is to blame — and Trump will be in a position to fan those particular flames. Even death is frequently insufficient. Years after Stalin died, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced the cult of personality as a violation of Marxist-Leninist principles, part of a larger process of de-Stalinization. That process caused enormous turmoil among the Soviet populace, necessitating (among other things) military intervention in Soviet Georgia, and helped trigger the fatal split with Mao's China. No wonder North Korea's regime has opted for dynastic succession instead.That could be the outcome in the GOP as well. The first night of the convention prominently featured Donald Trump Jr.'s vigorous attacks on the opposition as enemies of the republic, and he did a bang-up job if that's the sort of thing you like, certainly more compelling than Nikki Haley's "kindler, gentler" rendition of Trumpism. Don Jr. is one of very few plausible successors on the convention roster; former Trump rivals like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will not be speaking, nor will Trump allies among the many GOP governors like Florida's Ron DeSantis or Texas's Greg Abbott. If Trump wins, they'll have to spend the next four years performing obsequies, which will only diminish them further; If he loses, who will be better positioned to prosecute revenge than his son? And if any would-be successor tries the Khrushchev strategy, who is better positioned to shout that effort down than the man already being hailed at rallies as "46!"Either way, the potential implications for American democracy are quite dire. It's bad enough if America has decayed into hostile tribes motivated primarily by the desire to see the opposing tribe humiliated. It's far worse if one of those tribes has decided to hand over not only custody of its interests but its very powers of reason to a single will in which they long to be dissolved. I doubt it's possible to operate a democracy where any significant fraction of the populace partakes of such a longing, which a demagogue will always stand ready to satisfy. The only consolation is that a cult of personality built on a personality as widely disliked as Trump seems extremely unlikely to ever garner majority support. A Trump cult could well be powerful enough to make America ungovernable, but it is unlikely to be powerful enough to actually govern. Even in our frequently counter-majoritarian system, that's not the formula for an American Putin, Erdogan or Orban.But that is not the only possibility. It's possible that what looks like cult-like adoration is really just the kind of fawning that narcissistic celebrities frequently crave, and which Trump craves especially much. It's possible that the enthusiasm for Trump is just tribalism, something that will last only so long as Trump faithfully exchanges loyalty for loyalty. Inasmuch as there's a cult-like element to the Trump phenomenon, it may be far smaller than the party as a whole.That's a hopeful possibility for democracy in one sense. But it's a risk for the Democrats in another. In 2016, the Democrats tried to make the election entirely about Trump, reinforcing his centrality to our politics. But what gave Trump his victory were voters who disliked both candidates, who were never tempted to join the cult, but still wanted a change. This year again, Trump is not only trying to dominate our minds; he's making an argument, however demagogic and mendacious, with the potential to persuade: That the Democrats are scared of offending vandals and looters, scared of living shadowed by a deadly virus, scared to face down a rising and hostile China — and that Trump isn't selling bogus fear, but bogus strength.That possibility should worry Democrats as well as democrats. Cults prey on weak minds that are afraid of responsibility. That kind of character cannot sustain a democracy, so lovers of democracy have every reason for alarm that a major party's most loyal voters could be accurately characterized that way. But the Democrats probably can't win simply by saying that, declaring that their tribe must win because the other tribe has become a cult — particularly if they themselves come to be seen as the fearful ones. Persuadable voters might still prefer a leader who looks strong, even if they are turned off by the cultish trappings around him. If they do, that means not only four more years of Trump, but a powerful vindication for precisely those cult-like qualities, even if they aren't what actually delivered victory.More stories from theweek.com  That 'famous' Lincoln quote in Lara Trump's RNC speech? He never said it.  Hurricane Laura makes landfall, rivaling Louisiana's worst storms  The NBA strike is the most effective RNC counterprogramming possible

    Has the Republican Party degenerated into a cult of personality?It has become something of a journalistic cliché to say so — to argue that veneration of the Dear Leader and ritual denunciation of his enemies has eclipsed any ideas or actual plans for governance that the party may once have had. For those inclined to such a view, the first nights of the Republican National Convention offered some confirmation: in the obsequious praise of the president, the apocalypticism with which the opposition was regarded, and, perhaps most alarmingly, the alternative-reality quality of the discussion of the state of the country and the record of the administration, especially with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. When, in lieu of articulating a platform responsive to radically changed national conditions, a political party simply says that it will support the agenda of its leader, it's hard to dispute that its only remaining tenet is the Führerprinzip.But it's worth pondering a little more deeply what the characterization implies about the future, not only of the GOP but of the country as a whole. The Democrats — very much including former President Obama in his convention speech last week — have engaged in an apocalypticism of their own (which they surely feel is justified), describing this election as the last chance to save American democracy. If the GOP really has become a cult of personality, though, then it will take far more than an election victory — or even multiple such victories — to save it.To explain why requires thinking about what a cult of personality essentially is, and how it is to be distinguished from more normal charismatic leadership as well as from other kinds of extremist movements or quasi-religious forces in politics.The Tea Party, for example, could be characterized as both extreme and paranoid in its view of politics. It certainly threw up some memorably odd characters, and it caused no end of headaches for more mainstream GOP leaders because of its unwillingness to engage in normal political give-and-take. Black Lives Matter can, in some ways, be characterized similarly. The massive protests and sometimes riots that continue to rock the country, flaring up anew with every viral record of apparent police abuse and misconduct (most recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin) are in the service of a profound rethinking of American identity. If it's not always obvious how that rethinking might be instantiated in mundane policy terms, the movement's language sometimes points to radical demands for change that may yet prove difficult to assuage or appease.But these movements were and are largely leaderless. They were expressions of authentic emotion and interest that were capitalized upon with varying degrees of success by existing and new organizations and by individual political entrepreneurs. They weren't — and aren't — properly described as cults.As for charismatic leadership, most successful leaders in a democracy partake of it to some degree, because political power ultimately stems from the ability to mobilize popular support (which is one reason why thinkers like Plato abhorred democracy as a system that would inevitably decay in to demagoguery and tyranny). Leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan built enduring coalitions in part on the strength of their personae, and won long-lasting allegiance from their supporters that long outlasted their presidencies. But their political persuasions were never defined by their individual personalities, but by the ideologies, interests and identities that they championed.To call the contemporary GOP a cult of personality, then, is to assert that the Trump phenomenon is quite different from these antecedents. In a cult of personality, the intense emotion powering the movement is centered on the figure of the leader, who does not move people by persuasion but by proclamation, because the experience of surrendering their wills is what adherents come to seek. In totalitarian regimes like North Korea, the cult is produced in a coordinated fashion by the regime, which has a monopoly on mass-media and the ability to compel popular participation in collective rituals of public adoration. But religious cults arise in conditions of freedom, and there's no reason a political cult couldn't form similarly. Those who use the term to describe Trump's party are implicitly claiming that in America it has.What are the implications if the diagnosis is correct? A cult of personality goes beyond a traditional autocracy where decision-making ultimately rests in the hands of one man, because the people are not merely obedient but generate positive feedback. Lacking the negative-feedback mechanisms common to most political organisms, the behavior of the system becomes as mercurial as the cult leader, with potentially catastrophic consequences.And cults of personality don't necessarily end when the cult leader faces a setback, even a devastating one like the loss of an election. If what binds the GOP's voters to the party is worship of Donald Trump, then if he loses, even decisively, the question will not be what Trump did wrong but whose betrayal is to blame — and Trump will be in a position to fan those particular flames. Even death is frequently insufficient. Years after Stalin died, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced the cult of personality as a violation of Marxist-Leninist principles, part of a larger process of de-Stalinization. That process caused enormous turmoil among the Soviet populace, necessitating (among other things) military intervention in Soviet Georgia, and helped trigger the fatal split with Mao's China. No wonder North Korea's regime has opted for dynastic succession instead.That could be the outcome in the GOP as well. The first night of the convention prominently featured Donald Trump Jr.'s vigorous attacks on the opposition as enemies of the republic, and he did a bang-up job if that's the sort of thing you like, certainly more compelling than Nikki Haley's "kindler, gentler" rendition of Trumpism. Don Jr. is one of very few plausible successors on the convention roster; former Trump rivals like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will not be speaking, nor will Trump allies among the many GOP governors like Florida's Ron DeSantis or Texas's Greg Abbott. If Trump wins, they'll have to spend the next four years performing obsequies, which will only diminish them further; If he loses, who will be better positioned to prosecute revenge than his son? And if any would-be successor tries the Khrushchev strategy, who is better positioned to shout that effort down than the man already being hailed at rallies as "46!"Either way, the potential implications for American democracy are quite dire. It's bad enough if America has decayed into hostile tribes motivated primarily by the desire to see the opposing tribe humiliated. It's far worse if one of those tribes has decided to hand over not only custody of its interests but its very powers of reason to a single will in which they long to be dissolved. I doubt it's possible to operate a democracy where any significant fraction of the populace partakes of such a longing, which a demagogue will always stand ready to satisfy. The only consolation is that a cult of personality built on a personality as widely disliked as Trump seems extremely unlikely to ever garner majority support. A Trump cult could well be powerful enough to make America ungovernable, but it is unlikely to be powerful enough to actually govern. Even in our frequently counter-majoritarian system, that's not the formula for an American Putin, Erdogan or Orban.But that is not the only possibility. It's possible that what looks like cult-like adoration is really just the kind of fawning that narcissistic celebrities frequently crave, and which Trump craves especially much. It's possible that the enthusiasm for Trump is just tribalism, something that will last only so long as Trump faithfully exchanges loyalty for loyalty. Inasmuch as there's a cult-like element to the Trump phenomenon, it may be far smaller than the party as a whole.That's a hopeful possibility for democracy in one sense. But it's a risk for the Democrats in another. In 2016, the Democrats tried to make the election entirely about Trump, reinforcing his centrality to our politics. But what gave Trump his victory were voters who disliked both candidates, who were never tempted to join the cult, but still wanted a change. This year again, Trump is not only trying to dominate our minds; he's making an argument, however demagogic and mendacious, with the potential to persuade: That the Democrats are scared of offending vandals and looters, scared of living shadowed by a deadly virus, scared to face down a rising and hostile China — and that Trump isn't selling bogus fear, but bogus strength.That possibility should worry Democrats as well as democrats. Cults prey on weak minds that are afraid of responsibility. That kind of character cannot sustain a democracy, so lovers of democracy have every reason for alarm that a major party's most loyal voters could be accurately characterized that way. But the Democrats probably can't win simply by saying that, declaring that their tribe must win because the other tribe has become a cult — particularly if they themselves come to be seen as the fearful ones. Persuadable voters might still prefer a leader who looks strong, even if they are turned off by the cultish trappings around him. If they do, that means not only four more years of Trump, but a powerful vindication for precisely those cult-like qualities, even if they aren't what actually delivered victory.More stories from theweek.com That 'famous' Lincoln quote in Lara Trump's RNC speech? He never said it. Hurricane Laura makes landfall, rivaling Louisiana's worst storms The NBA strike is the most effective RNC counterprogramming possible


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  • 71/81   Germany, Israel agree continued Iran arms embargo important
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Foreign Minister Heiko Maas agreed with his Israeli counterpart Thursday that an effort must be made to extend a weapon embargo on Iran, while stressing Germany still sees the landmark 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers as the best way to prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  With a current U.N. arms embargo on Iran due to expire on Oct. 18, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters in Berlin an extension was needed to prevent Iran from getting “more advanced weapons systems and spreading them around the Middle East.”

    Foreign Minister Heiko Maas agreed with his Israeli counterpart Thursday that an effort must be made to extend a weapon embargo on Iran, while stressing Germany still sees the landmark 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers as the best way to prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon. With a current U.N. arms embargo on Iran due to expire on Oct. 18, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters in Berlin an extension was needed to prevent Iran from getting “more advanced weapons systems and spreading them around the Middle East.”


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  • 72/81   A thousand kids and counselors went to summer camp in Maine. Only 3 got the coronavirus.
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Out of 1,022 people who attended or worked at several summer camps in Maine that implemented measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, only three tested positive for it, a new study says. And those three cases did not result in secondary infections because proper measures were taken.

    Out of 1,022 people who attended or worked at several summer camps in Maine that implemented measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, only three tested positive for it, a new study says. And those three cases did not result in secondary infections because proper measures were taken.


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  • 73/81   Trump administration defends 'inexplicable' changes to coronavirus testing guidelines
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    A top Trump administration official defended new guidelines that say that people without symptoms do not need a coronavirus test, a development that has been widely criticized as unproductive since it was issued on Tuesday. 

    A top Trump administration official defended new guidelines that say that people without symptoms do not need a coronavirus test, a development that has been widely criticized as unproductive since it was issued on Tuesday. 


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  • 74/81   Should colleges discount tuition when they go remote?
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Students at colleges across the country are demanding tuition be reduced because classes are being held online. Schools say any discount would cripple them financially.

    Students at colleges across the country are demanding tuition be reduced because classes are being held online. Schools say any discount would cripple them financially.


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  • 75/81   Coronavirus an afterthought as RNC opens
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    “Donald Trump truly moved mountains to save lives,” said one RNC speaker, an assertion at odds with what many have called President Trump’s inattentive and even self-sabotaging response to the pandemic, which has killed nearly 180,000 people in the U.S.

    “Donald Trump truly moved mountains to save lives,” said one RNC speaker, an assertion at odds with what many have called President Trump’s inattentive and even self-sabotaging response to the pandemic, which has killed nearly 180,000 people in the U.S.


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  • 76/81   5 takeaways from day 1 of the RNC
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    The theme of the first night of the Republican National Convention was “America, Land of Promise,” a hopeful message belied by speeches that warned of impending national collapse if Donald Trump isn’t reelected in November.

    The theme of the first night of the Republican National Convention was “America, Land of Promise,” a hopeful message belied by speeches that warned of impending national collapse if Donald Trump isn’t reelected in November.


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  • 77/81   What to Feed Your Family When the Power Goes Out
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    When a big storm or other natural disaster knocks out the power or makes it hard to leave your house for a few days, what to feed your family becomes a major concern. The food experts at Consumer...

    When a big storm or other natural disaster knocks out the power or makes it hard to leave your house for a few days, what to feed your family becomes a major concern. The food experts at Consumer...


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  • 78/81   Oleandrin, touted as COVID-19 cure, has no scientific support
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    The extract from a highly toxic plant is being promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, despite no scientific evidence that it is effective in treating or preventing COVID-19. Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass explains why that's dangerous. 

    The extract from a highly toxic plant is being promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, despite no scientific evidence that it is effective in treating or preventing COVID-19. Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass explains why that's dangerous. 


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  • 79/81   Young children in daycare did not spread the coronavirus, study finds
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    The reopening of childcare centers in Rhode Island in June and July did not lead to a spread of the coronavirus, says a new CDC study. The results are bound to intensify the debate over how to safely reopen schools, even though childcare centers and schools are not the same.

    The reopening of childcare centers in Rhode Island in June and July did not lead to a spread of the coronavirus, says a new CDC study. The results are bound to intensify the debate over how to safely reopen schools, even though childcare centers and schools are not the same.


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  • 80/81   Trump previews optimistic convention message of 'American greatness'
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump gave a preview of the themes his campaign will highlight at his party’s convention next week: that America is great, except for the parts of it governed by Democrats, which are “totally out of control.”

    President Trump gave a preview of the themes his campaign will highlight at his party’s convention next week: that America is great, except for the parts of it governed by Democrats, which are “totally out of control.”


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  • 81/81   Latinos hit hardest by coronavirus, CDC finds
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    In analyzing 79 counties in 22 states that met hot spot status between June 5 and 18, the CDC found that 96.2 percent of those counties saw Black, Latino, Native American and Asian-American people infected with the coronavirus at rates above their proportion of the population.

    In analyzing 79 counties in 22 states that met hot spot status between June 5 and 18, the CDC found that 96.2 percent of those counties saw Black, Latino, Native American and Asian-American people infected with the coronavirus at rates above their proportion of the population.


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