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News Slideshows (10/20/2020 15 hours)


  • 1/82   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


    Michael Steele   Tiffany Trump   JIMIN LIVE   Tony Katz   Fox and Friends   14 Days   PragerU   Chachi   Marilyn Monroe   Rush   ERIC NAM   Reject Donald Trump   Troy Aikman   Mr Beast   Madam Vice President   
  • 2/82   Oscars diversity rules: Progress or patronizing?
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    The Academy Awards will require Best Picture nominees to meet certain diversity requirements starting in 2024. Will the rules improve representation or are they an empty gesture?

    The Academy Awards will require Best Picture nominees to meet certain diversity requirements starting in 2024. Will the rules improve representation or are they an empty gesture?


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  • 3/82   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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  • 4/82   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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  • 5/82   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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  • 6/82   '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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  • 7/82   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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  • 8/82   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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  • 9/82   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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  • 10/82   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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  • 11/82   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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  • 12/82   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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  • 13/82   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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  • 14/82   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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  • 15/82   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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  • 16/82   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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  • 17/82   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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  • 18/82   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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  • 19/82   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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  • 20/82   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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  • 21/82   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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  • 22/82   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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  • 23/82   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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  • 24/82   '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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  • 25/82   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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  • 26/82   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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  • 27/82   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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  • 28/82   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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  • 29/82   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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  • 30/82   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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  • 31/82   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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  • 32/82   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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  • 33/82   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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  • 34/82   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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  • 35/82   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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  • 36/82   Nippon Life Insurance Company Launches Avatar-based Sales Rep Training Program, Powered by Sensely
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Sensely today announced that its partner Nippon Life recently launched a character-based sales rep training program in which several 3D virtual assistants provide Nippon Life sales representatives with information about the full variety of Nippon Life policies and related services. Nippon Life's more than 45,000 sales representatives access the content via their mobile devices, which offers convenience, speed, and the ability to retrieve information around the clock.

    Sensely today announced that its partner Nippon Life recently launched a character-based sales rep training program in which several 3D virtual assistants provide Nippon Life sales representatives with information about the full variety of Nippon Life policies and related services. Nippon Life's more than 45,000 sales representatives access the content via their mobile devices, which offers convenience, speed, and the ability to retrieve information around the clock.


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  • 37/82   Littleton Chiropractors Launch New Imperium Health Center Website
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Imperium Health Center in Littleton recently launched a new website to make appointment setting easier for new and future patients alike. The website features improved functionality, easy access to the detailed information regarding the services offered, the team, and events the practice provides.

    Imperium Health Center in Littleton recently launched a new website to make appointment setting easier for new and future patients alike. The website features improved functionality, easy access to the detailed information regarding the services offered, the team, and events the practice provides.


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  • 38/82   US to sue Google in biggest antitrust case in decades: reports
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The US government was preparing to sue Google Tuesday in what would be the biggest antitrust case in decades, media reports said.

    The US government was preparing to sue Google Tuesday in what would be the biggest antitrust case in decades, media reports said.


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  • 39/82   Were Hedge Funds Right About Betting On Apple Inc. (AAPL)?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    In this article we are going to use hedge fund sentiment as a tool and determine whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a good investment right now. We like to analyze hedge fund sentiment before conducting days of in-depth research. We do so because hedge funds and other elite investors have numerous Ivy League graduates, expert […]

    In this article we are going to use hedge fund sentiment as a tool and determine whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a good investment right now. We like to analyze hedge fund sentiment before conducting days of in-depth research. We do so because hedge funds and other elite investors have numerous Ivy League graduates, expert […]


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  • 40/82   GoTab Transforms the Guest Experience with Easy-to-Use Platform & Distinctive Features
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Present in more than 35 states and used by hundreds of thousands of guests, restaurant commerce platform GoTab continues to roll out distinctive features designed to deliver a safe and flexible dining experience for all.

    Present in more than 35 states and used by hundreds of thousands of guests, restaurant commerce platform GoTab continues to roll out distinctive features designed to deliver a safe and flexible dining experience for all.


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  • 41/82   First Community Mortgage Re-Branding Reflects Corporate Evolution and Strong Growth Phase
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    First Community Mortgage, a Murfreesboro, TN-based home lender that now originates mortgages in 44 states, yesterday announced a major rebranding to reflect the breadth and growth of the nearly two-decade-old organization.

    First Community Mortgage, a Murfreesboro, TN-based home lender that now originates mortgages in 44 states, yesterday announced a major rebranding to reflect the breadth and growth of the nearly two-decade-old organization.


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  • 42/82   WaveBlock Introduces New Technology to Protect Yourself from EMF Radiation
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    WaveBlock is announcing the launch of its patent-pending, proprietary products designed to protect users from potentially harmful EMF radiation waves. A 3-layer technology is at the core of its products and ensures that they have the quality and performance characteristics to accommodate the needs of any earbud user - from the studious to the extreme sports participant.

    WaveBlock is announcing the launch of its patent-pending, proprietary products designed to protect users from potentially harmful EMF radiation waves. A 3-layer technology is at the core of its products and ensures that they have the quality and performance characteristics to accommodate the needs of any earbud user - from the studious to the extreme sports participant.


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  • 43/82   CDC criticizes White House medical adviser's discredited mask claim
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is criticizing a White House coronavirus adviser for spreading misinformation about facial coverings, in a potential escalation of the feud between the administration and public health officials within the federal government.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is criticizing a White House coronavirus adviser for spreading misinformation about facial coverings, in a potential escalation of the feud between the administration and public health officials within the federal government.


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  • 44/82   Fox News rejected Hunter Biden exposé; New York Post writer refused to put his name on it: reports
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The FBI is investigating whether the story is tied to a Russian influence operation, according to multiple reports

    The FBI is investigating whether the story is tied to a Russian influence operation, according to multiple reports


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  • 45/82   Bloomberg Gun Control Group Pours $4.4 Million into Battleground States in Final Weeks
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control advocacy group founded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, is spending $4.4 million on ads in six battleground states in the final weeks of the presidential election campaign, Politico reported on Monday.The group is spending a total of $60 million on ads in 2020 election races. In Texas, Everytown is running $2 million worth of ads attacking Republican candidates in the state's 22nd and 24th congressional districts over their support for gun rights. Another $1.4 million has been devoted to flipping state legislatures in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa, and Minnesota, while $1 million is focused on voter mobilization efforts in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas.Some of the ads attempt to connect the coronavirus pandemic with casualties of gun violence."Deaths from Covid-19 and gun violence are on the rise, but Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature have failed to take the action required to keep us safe," one digital ad reads."At the onset of the pandemic, "everyone asked, ‘was the political zeitgeist scrambled?’ And we asked ourselves the same question," Everytown president John Feinblatt told Politico. "Our polling showed us, when you couple the dual carnage of Covid and gun violence to legislative failure to address both emergencies, it's particularly potent."Gun sales have surged across the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. The FBI has conducted record numbers of background checks, with 2.7 million in March at the start of the pandemic and 3.9 million in June, after widespread demonstrations and riots broke out in various cities.

    Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control advocacy group founded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, is spending $4.4 million on ads in six battleground states in the final weeks of the presidential election campaign, Politico reported on Monday.The group is spending a total of $60 million on ads in 2020 election races. In Texas, Everytown is running $2 million worth of ads attacking Republican candidates in the state's 22nd and 24th congressional districts over their support for gun rights. Another $1.4 million has been devoted to flipping state legislatures in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa, and Minnesota, while $1 million is focused on voter mobilization efforts in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas.Some of the ads attempt to connect the coronavirus pandemic with casualties of gun violence."Deaths from Covid-19 and gun violence are on the rise, but Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature have failed to take the action required to keep us safe," one digital ad reads."At the onset of the pandemic, "everyone asked, ‘was the political zeitgeist scrambled?’ And we asked ourselves the same question," Everytown president John Feinblatt told Politico. "Our polling showed us, when you couple the dual carnage of Covid and gun violence to legislative failure to address both emergencies, it's particularly potent."Gun sales have surged across the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic. The FBI has conducted record numbers of background checks, with 2.7 million in March at the start of the pandemic and 3.9 million in June, after widespread demonstrations and riots broke out in various cities.


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  • 46/82   Shanghai zoo fatal bear attack: Visitors see worker being killed
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The fatal attack in Shanghai Wild Animal Park's "wild beast area" is under investigation.

    The fatal attack in Shanghai Wild Animal Park's "wild beast area" is under investigation.


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  • 47/82   Family of Moscow-Born Teen Who Beheaded Teacher Were from Chechnya Where Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Are Demonized
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    MOSCOW—The man known as "Putin’s attack dog" has spent years promoting a violent response to the publication of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. When a teenager from a Chechen family beheaded a school teacher in France on Friday for sharing these images with his class, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-backed ruler of Chechnya, took to social media to lecture France about its “unacceptable attitude to Islamic values.”Kadyrov has worked hard to make the French controversy a cause célèbre in the Muslim-majority region of Russia. He gathered hundreds of thousands of Chechens for an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, just a few days after terrorists killed 12 and injured 11 people at the satirical newspaper’s office in January 2015. That was the biggest rally ever seen in the Northern Caucasus. With a white vest on, Kadyrov spoke to a crowd of about a million people, calling on Muslims to rise against those who “deliberately kindle the fire of religious hostility.”When Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons on September 2 to mark the opening of a trial of those involved in the terror attack, Chechnya’s official Instagram account responded with a call in the Chechen language saying, “May the Almighty punish them for their deeds as quickly as possible.” Two days later Chechen Islamic jurist Salakh Mezhiyev condemned the French publication as part of “the West’s well-planned attack against Islam.” A rain of angry statements followed, and Instagram users called to make Charlie Hebdo “burn in hell.”Parents of Student Arrested After Teacher Beheaded for Showing Anti-Muslim CartoonSvetlana Gannushkina, the head of Moscow’s Civic Assistance Committee, said there could be no doubt what the Chechen leader was advocating. “The message Kadyrov has been sending his people is pretty clear, she told The Daily Beast. “He calls for Muslims to take measures against those mocking Muhammad.”The son of a Chechen émigré family in the suburbs of Paris did just that on Friday. A French teacher of geography and history, 47-year old Samuel Paty, was decapitated in the street in the Conflans Saint-Honorine neighborhood by Abdullah Anzorov, 18, about a week after Paty had shown the Muhammed cartoons to his students.Witnesses heard Anzorov yell during the attack, “Allahu Akbar!” The attacker was later shot dead after firing a plastic pellet gun at police. The authorities have arrested at least ten members of Anzorov’s Chechen family.The teenager himself was born in Moscow and only visited Chechnya as a young child, but Grigory Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Knot media site, told The Daily Beast that Kadyrov’s influence stretched well beyond the republic’s borders. “It has to do with so-called ‘Kadyrovtsy,’ they are responsible for spreading intolerance, hatred of critical thinking,” he said. “The murder in France took place after Chechnya’s main mufti condemned Charlie Hebdo.”Kadyrov, whose hardline policies are fully supported by President Vladimir Putin, did condemn the terrorist attack at the end of his social media tirade, but he also doubled down on his criticism of the cartoonists and those who would challenge Islamic fundamentalism. “While speaking out categorically against any manifestation of terrorism,” he wrote. “I also urge not to provoke believers, not to offend their religious feelings.”Kadyrov has been lecturing on public morality and behavior for years. Enjoying Kremlin-backed power in his republic, he forbade smoking and drinking, banned women from entering state buildings without scarves on, and called for a crusade against his own LGBT citizens in order “to purify our blood.”Chechen nationals across the world continue to follow Kadyrov, watching his videos and messages on Telegram and Instagram. His own Instagram account was blocked after U.S. sanctions, but he continues to spread his message via the republic’s official account.Yekaterina Sokirianskaya, the founder of the Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center think tank, has been researching Chechen émigrés in Europe and the U.S. “Many Chechens in the West are shocked, ashamed, they condemned the murderer for spoiling their nation’s reputation,” she said. “As my own research showed, most young Chechen refugees blend in, learn languages, study and work on the West. They have no other home, since returning to Chechnya would be too dangerous for most of them.“Judging by how much Anzorov rushed to photograph his beheaded victim and publish photographs on Twitter, he was prepared for a demonstratively violent act for some time, using the teacher as a pretext.”The shocking photographs were published on Twitter in a post addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron, which read, “I have executed one of your dogs.”Chechnya watchers in Russia believe that many Muslims who oppose Kadyrov’s domestic policy have been seduced by his criticism of Charlie Hebdo and French politicians who support tolerance and freedom of speech. “Kadyrov makes statements about Muslims in Myanmar, Muslims in Palestine, he has ambitions of becoming the leading voice for all Russian Muslims,” Sokirianskaya told The Daily Beast.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.

    MOSCOW—The man known as "Putin’s attack dog" has spent years promoting a violent response to the publication of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. When a teenager from a Chechen family beheaded a school teacher in France on Friday for sharing these images with his class, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-backed ruler of Chechnya, took to social media to lecture France about its “unacceptable attitude to Islamic values.”Kadyrov has worked hard to make the French controversy a cause célèbre in the Muslim-majority region of Russia. He gathered hundreds of thousands of Chechens for an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, just a few days after terrorists killed 12 and injured 11 people at the satirical newspaper’s office in January 2015. That was the biggest rally ever seen in the Northern Caucasus. With a white vest on, Kadyrov spoke to a crowd of about a million people, calling on Muslims to rise against those who “deliberately kindle the fire of religious hostility.”When Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons on September 2 to mark the opening of a trial of those involved in the terror attack, Chechnya’s official Instagram account responded with a call in the Chechen language saying, “May the Almighty punish them for their deeds as quickly as possible.” Two days later Chechen Islamic jurist Salakh Mezhiyev condemned the French publication as part of “the West’s well-planned attack against Islam.” A rain of angry statements followed, and Instagram users called to make Charlie Hebdo “burn in hell.”Parents of Student Arrested After Teacher Beheaded for Showing Anti-Muslim CartoonSvetlana Gannushkina, the head of Moscow’s Civic Assistance Committee, said there could be no doubt what the Chechen leader was advocating. “The message Kadyrov has been sending his people is pretty clear, she told The Daily Beast. “He calls for Muslims to take measures against those mocking Muhammad.”The son of a Chechen émigré family in the suburbs of Paris did just that on Friday. A French teacher of geography and history, 47-year old Samuel Paty, was decapitated in the street in the Conflans Saint-Honorine neighborhood by Abdullah Anzorov, 18, about a week after Paty had shown the Muhammed cartoons to his students.Witnesses heard Anzorov yell during the attack, “Allahu Akbar!” The attacker was later shot dead after firing a plastic pellet gun at police. The authorities have arrested at least ten members of Anzorov’s Chechen family.The teenager himself was born in Moscow and only visited Chechnya as a young child, but Grigory Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Knot media site, told The Daily Beast that Kadyrov’s influence stretched well beyond the republic’s borders. “It has to do with so-called ‘Kadyrovtsy,’ they are responsible for spreading intolerance, hatred of critical thinking,” he said. “The murder in France took place after Chechnya’s main mufti condemned Charlie Hebdo.”Kadyrov, whose hardline policies are fully supported by President Vladimir Putin, did condemn the terrorist attack at the end of his social media tirade, but he also doubled down on his criticism of the cartoonists and those who would challenge Islamic fundamentalism. “While speaking out categorically against any manifestation of terrorism,” he wrote. “I also urge not to provoke believers, not to offend their religious feelings.”Kadyrov has been lecturing on public morality and behavior for years. Enjoying Kremlin-backed power in his republic, he forbade smoking and drinking, banned women from entering state buildings without scarves on, and called for a crusade against his own LGBT citizens in order “to purify our blood.”Chechen nationals across the world continue to follow Kadyrov, watching his videos and messages on Telegram and Instagram. His own Instagram account was blocked after U.S. sanctions, but he continues to spread his message via the republic’s official account.Yekaterina Sokirianskaya, the founder of the Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center think tank, has been researching Chechen émigrés in Europe and the U.S. “Many Chechens in the West are shocked, ashamed, they condemned the murderer for spoiling their nation’s reputation,” she said. “As my own research showed, most young Chechen refugees blend in, learn languages, study and work on the West. They have no other home, since returning to Chechnya would be too dangerous for most of them.“Judging by how much Anzorov rushed to photograph his beheaded victim and publish photographs on Twitter, he was prepared for a demonstratively violent act for some time, using the teacher as a pretext.”The shocking photographs were published on Twitter in a post addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron, which read, “I have executed one of your dogs.”Chechnya watchers in Russia believe that many Muslims who oppose Kadyrov’s domestic policy have been seduced by his criticism of Charlie Hebdo and French politicians who support tolerance and freedom of speech. “Kadyrov makes statements about Muslims in Myanmar, Muslims in Palestine, he has ambitions of becoming the leading voice for all Russian Muslims,” Sokirianskaya told The Daily Beast.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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  • 48/82   Top infectious-disease expert says 'the next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic'
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Dr. Michael Osterholm predicted that by the holidays, the US "will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases."

    Dr. Michael Osterholm predicted that by the holidays, the US "will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases."


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  • 49/82   Lopez Obrador criticizes DEA role in Mexico after ex-army chief's arrest
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Mexico's president has criticized the historic role played by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in his country, days after a former Mexican army chief was arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges at the behest of the DEA.  President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador described Thursday's arrest of ex-Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos as evidence of rampant corruption in past governments.  Speaking in the southern state of Oaxaca on Saturday, Lopez Obrador said the DEA had dealt for years with Cienfuegos and Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico's security minister from 2006 to 2012, who has also been charged in the United States with drug-trafficking offenses.

    Mexico's president has criticized the historic role played by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in his country, days after a former Mexican army chief was arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges at the behest of the DEA. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador described Thursday's arrest of ex-Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos as evidence of rampant corruption in past governments. Speaking in the southern state of Oaxaca on Saturday, Lopez Obrador said the DEA had dealt for years with Cienfuegos and Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico's security minister from 2006 to 2012, who has also been charged in the United States with drug-trafficking offenses.


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  • 50/82   A preschooler who spotted a missing endangered lemur gets a lifetime pass to the San Francisco Zoo
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The 5-year-old, James Trinh, was walking out of school on Thursday when he spotted the elderly and endangered lemur on the loose.

    The 5-year-old, James Trinh, was walking out of school on Thursday when he spotted the elderly and endangered lemur on the loose.


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  • 51/82   Supreme Court justices chastise Vermont on the limits of police power in 'deer jacking' case
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Vermont's high court ruled that game wardens had a legal right to wander around the land of a homeowner suspected of illegally hunting deer at night.

    Vermont's high court ruled that game wardens had a legal right to wander around the land of a homeowner suspected of illegally hunting deer at night.


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  • 52/82   Trump reportedly invited a waiter into a top secret intelligence briefing room to order a milkshake
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Look, sometimes a man just needs a malted milkshake. Admittedly, there are less opportune moments to indulge in such a craving — say, when you're in a highly classified briefing about Afghanistan with your country's senior defense and intelligence officials.Nevertheless, President Trump reportedly brought such a huddle to a halt a few months after he took office in 2017, Politico reports. "Does anyone want a malt?" the commander-in-chief supposedly asked the top-ranking officials who'd assembled for the briefing at his New Jersey golf club, including the head of the CIA's Special Activities Center, "a little known unit" that is "responsible for operations that include clandestine or covert operations with which the U.S. government does not want to be overtly associated," Spec Ops Magazine explains.Trump urged, "We have the best malts, you have to try them," before inviting a waiter into the code-word-secure briefing room to satisfy his sweet tooth. "The malt episode ... became legendary inside the CIA, said three former officials," Politico writes, explaining that "it was seen as an early harbinger of Trump's disinterest in intelligence, which would later be borne out by the new president's notorious resistance to reading his classified daily briefing." (That is to say, pictures were added to the briefings to help keep him engaged).Still, this is a man who has flexed the power of the nation's highest office to … install a button on his desk in the Oval Office that summons a butler to bring him a Diet Coke. The briefings can wait! To paraphrase a queen of France who was similarly burdened with the trivialities of running a country when there were sweets to consume, let them drink milkshakes.More stories from theweek.com  Will Kansas go blue?  What happened to third party candidates?  If Roe falls

    Look, sometimes a man just needs a malted milkshake. Admittedly, there are less opportune moments to indulge in such a craving — say, when you're in a highly classified briefing about Afghanistan with your country's senior defense and intelligence officials.Nevertheless, President Trump reportedly brought such a huddle to a halt a few months after he took office in 2017, Politico reports. "Does anyone want a malt?" the commander-in-chief supposedly asked the top-ranking officials who'd assembled for the briefing at his New Jersey golf club, including the head of the CIA's Special Activities Center, "a little known unit" that is "responsible for operations that include clandestine or covert operations with which the U.S. government does not want to be overtly associated," Spec Ops Magazine explains.Trump urged, "We have the best malts, you have to try them," before inviting a waiter into the code-word-secure briefing room to satisfy his sweet tooth. "The malt episode ... became legendary inside the CIA, said three former officials," Politico writes, explaining that "it was seen as an early harbinger of Trump's disinterest in intelligence, which would later be borne out by the new president's notorious resistance to reading his classified daily briefing." (That is to say, pictures were added to the briefings to help keep him engaged).Still, this is a man who has flexed the power of the nation's highest office to … install a button on his desk in the Oval Office that summons a butler to bring him a Diet Coke. The briefings can wait! To paraphrase a queen of France who was similarly burdened with the trivialities of running a country when there were sweets to consume, let them drink milkshakes.More stories from theweek.com Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls


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  • 53/82   Orionid meteor shower to bring ‘prolonged explosions of light’
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Nasa says fast meteors can also become fireballs as Earth passes through tail of Hayley’s comet

    Nasa says fast meteors can also become fireballs as Earth passes through tail of Hayley’s comet


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  • 54/82   Nasa's Osiris-Rex probe aims for daring 'high five' with asteroid Bennu
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Osiris-Rex will make the briefest of contacts with Asteroid Bennu to try to pick up rock samples.

    Osiris-Rex will make the briefest of contacts with Asteroid Bennu to try to pick up rock samples.


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  • 55/82   A Viral Theory Cited by Health Officials Draws Fire From Scientists
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    As the coronavirus pandemic erupted this spring, two Stanford University professors -- Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Scott W. Atlas -- bonded over a shared concern that lockdowns were creating economic and societal devastation.Now Atlas is President Donald Trump's science adviser, a powerful force inside the White House. And Bhattacharya is one of three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, a scientific treatise that calls for allowing the coronavirus to spread naturally in order to achieve herd immunity -- the point at which enough people have been infected to stall transmission of the pathogen in the community.While Atlas and administration officials have denied advocating this approach, they have praised the ideas in the declaration. The message is aligned with Trump's vocal opposition on the campaign trail to lockdowns, even as the country grapples with renewed surges of the virus.The central proposition -- which, according to the declaration's website, is supported by thousands of signatories who identify as science or health professionals -- is that to contain the coronavirus, people "who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal" while those at high risk are protected from infection.Younger Americans should return to workplaces, schools, shops and restaurants, while older Americans would remain cloistered from the virus as it spreads, receiving such services as grocery deliveries and medical care.Eventually so many younger Americans will have been exposed, and presumably will have developed some immunity, that the virus will not be able to maintain its hold on the communities, the declaration contends.But it does not offer details on how the strategy would work in practice. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, has dismissed the declaration as unscientific, dangerous and "total nonsense." Others have called it unethical, particularly for multigenerational families and communities of color.Alarmed and angry, 80 experts Wednesday published a manifesto of their own, the John Snow Memorandum (named after a legendary epidemiologist), saying that the declaration's approach would endanger Americans who have underlying conditions that put them at high risk from severe COVID-19 -- at least one-third of U.S. citizens, by most estimates -- and result in perhaps a half-million deaths."I think it's wrong, I think it's unsafe, I think it invites people to act in ways that have the potential to do an enormous amount of harm," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious disease expert at Harvard University and one of the signatories to the Snow memo. "You don't roll out disease -- you roll out vaccination."The declaration grew out of a gathering hosted in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, by the American Institute for Economic Research, a think tank dedicated to free-market principles that partners with the Charles Koch Institute, founded by the billionaire industrialist to provide support to libertarian-leaning causes and organizations.On Oct. 5, the day after the declaration was made public, the three authors -- Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard -- arrived in Washington at the invitation of Atlas to present their plan to a small but powerful audience: the health and human services secretary, Alex Azar.Over the course of an hourlong meeting in a wood-paneled, sixth-floor suite atop the health department's headquarters, the researchers walked the secretary and Atlas through their thinking.Azar later tweeted: "We heard strong reinforcement of the Trump Administration's strategy of aggressively protecting the vulnerable while opening schools and the workplace."Battered by lost jobs, pandemic fatigue and isolation, and worried for their children, there is little doubt that Americans loathe lockdowns, although many still see them as necessary to control the virus.Among scientists, too, there is near-universal agreement that lockdowns are harmful. Even Fauci has suggested that another national lockdown must be instituted only as a last resort.But mostly, scientific disagreement centers on whether lockdowns are a necessary move when other strategies to contain the virus have not even been put in place, or have failed."This has been wrongly framed as a debate between lockdown and no lockdown," said Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London.Dr. David Nabarro, a special envoy to the World Health Organization, has urged governments not to resort to lockdowns as the primary method to control the virus. Masks, social distancing, fewer crowds, testing and tracing -- these are the ways to control the virus in the long run, he said in an interview.But the lockdowns in the spring were necessary, he added, as emergency measures to give countries time to put in place strategies to control the virus."There is a middle way," Nabarro added, between strict lockdowns and letting the virus freely infect people. "If only we had a few more world leaders who would understand this, we wouldn't have this debate going on."But Bhattacharya and his supporters go further. They say that governments should never have imposed lockdowns at all, and never should have tried to institute coronavirus testing and contact-tracing.The manifesto's central tenet is that young people should be free to resume normal life -- to reenter the workforce, attend college, dine in restaurants. They would become infected, hopefully without much illness, and gain immunity.Eventually the virus would not be able to find new victims and would fade away."People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity," the declaration said.The strategy includes keeping older people cloistered, with regular testing to detect possible outbreaks in nursing homes, and with groceries and other necessities delivered to anyone over 60 sheltering at home. Alternately, older people might move to other facilities for isolation or quarantine.There would be no widespread surveillance for the coronavirus. People would be given information about testing, with an emphasis on those who have symptoms -- but when and how to get tested, and whether to isolate if infected, would be left up to individuals."Testing and isolating indiscriminately causes too much collateral damage for it to be useful," Bhattacharya said.But some experts said the strategy was highly impractical, given the difficulty in determining who is truly susceptible. The risk of death from COVID-19 rises sharply with age, but about 37% of adults in America also are at significant risk because of obesity, diabetes or other underlying conditions.The most recent statistics indicate that 20% of deaths from COVID-19 occur in people under age 65. And about a third of people who have recovered from the disease, including the young, still struggle with symptoms weeks later (a phenomenon the Barrington authors contest). "It's amazingly irresponsible" not to take these risks into account, Nabarro said.The declaration's strategy is both unethical and fails to account for human behavior, said Ruth Faden, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University.Many high-risk groups -- people who live in multigenerational families or in crowded living situations, or who have diabetes and obesity -- are disproportionately found in poor communities, she said. The declaration's strategy would require them to move away from their families or to risk having younger family members bring the virus home."Are we going to compel these people to leave? And if we're not going to compel them to leave, then how's this supposed to go?" she said. "Then you are going to see the deaths that you say we're not going to see."Reopening schools when community levels of the virus are high similarly rests on a misguided assumption that parents and teachers would agree to the strategy, she added.Scientists who have signed the declaration did not offer many details for putting its ideas in place."I don't know exactly how it would work," said Gabriela Gomes, a mathematical modeler at the University of Strathclyde in Britain and one of 42 co-signers.Another supporter, Paul McKeigue, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said, "Specific control measures for preventing coronavirus transmission are not my area of expertise."The lack of a clear plan has turned away even some would-be supporters. Dr. Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, attended part of the Great Barrington, Massachusetts, meeting and said he was sympathetic to the effort.But Baral, a Swedish citizen who supports that country's approach, said he did not sign the declaration because it did not lay out a plan for workplace or housing accommodations for people at risk.Sweden adopted an unrestrictive approach, offering guidelines to its citizens but leaving compliance up to them. The country is often cited as the model for controlling the virus without restrictions, but has among the highest death rates in the world, particularly among the elderly. It has also suffered economic losses comparable to those of other Nordic countries.It's possible to avoid even those risks without lockdowns if governments impose some reasonable restrictions like physical distancing and universal masks and install test and trace strategies, Nabarro said."I will contest anybody who says it is undoable," he added. "It's doable without collateral damage if you bring together all the local communities."The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, home to the American Institute for Economic Research, recently distanced itself from the declaration, saying the strategy it proposed could "cost millions of lives.""Anyone who might avoid Great Barrington, due to confusion over the Declaration, is invited to visit and see how COVID-safe works in a small New England town," the town's leaders wrote."Please wear a mask."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    As the coronavirus pandemic erupted this spring, two Stanford University professors -- Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Scott W. Atlas -- bonded over a shared concern that lockdowns were creating economic and societal devastation.Now Atlas is President Donald Trump's science adviser, a powerful force inside the White House. And Bhattacharya is one of three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, a scientific treatise that calls for allowing the coronavirus to spread naturally in order to achieve herd immunity -- the point at which enough people have been infected to stall transmission of the pathogen in the community.While Atlas and administration officials have denied advocating this approach, they have praised the ideas in the declaration. The message is aligned with Trump's vocal opposition on the campaign trail to lockdowns, even as the country grapples with renewed surges of the virus.The central proposition -- which, according to the declaration's website, is supported by thousands of signatories who identify as science or health professionals -- is that to contain the coronavirus, people "who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal" while those at high risk are protected from infection.Younger Americans should return to workplaces, schools, shops and restaurants, while older Americans would remain cloistered from the virus as it spreads, receiving such services as grocery deliveries and medical care.Eventually so many younger Americans will have been exposed, and presumably will have developed some immunity, that the virus will not be able to maintain its hold on the communities, the declaration contends.But it does not offer details on how the strategy would work in practice. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, has dismissed the declaration as unscientific, dangerous and "total nonsense." Others have called it unethical, particularly for multigenerational families and communities of color.Alarmed and angry, 80 experts Wednesday published a manifesto of their own, the John Snow Memorandum (named after a legendary epidemiologist), saying that the declaration's approach would endanger Americans who have underlying conditions that put them at high risk from severe COVID-19 -- at least one-third of U.S. citizens, by most estimates -- and result in perhaps a half-million deaths."I think it's wrong, I think it's unsafe, I think it invites people to act in ways that have the potential to do an enormous amount of harm," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious disease expert at Harvard University and one of the signatories to the Snow memo. "You don't roll out disease -- you roll out vaccination."The declaration grew out of a gathering hosted in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, by the American Institute for Economic Research, a think tank dedicated to free-market principles that partners with the Charles Koch Institute, founded by the billionaire industrialist to provide support to libertarian-leaning causes and organizations.On Oct. 5, the day after the declaration was made public, the three authors -- Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard -- arrived in Washington at the invitation of Atlas to present their plan to a small but powerful audience: the health and human services secretary, Alex Azar.Over the course of an hourlong meeting in a wood-paneled, sixth-floor suite atop the health department's headquarters, the researchers walked the secretary and Atlas through their thinking.Azar later tweeted: "We heard strong reinforcement of the Trump Administration's strategy of aggressively protecting the vulnerable while opening schools and the workplace."Battered by lost jobs, pandemic fatigue and isolation, and worried for their children, there is little doubt that Americans loathe lockdowns, although many still see them as necessary to control the virus.Among scientists, too, there is near-universal agreement that lockdowns are harmful. Even Fauci has suggested that another national lockdown must be instituted only as a last resort.But mostly, scientific disagreement centers on whether lockdowns are a necessary move when other strategies to contain the virus have not even been put in place, or have failed."This has been wrongly framed as a debate between lockdown and no lockdown," said Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London.Dr. David Nabarro, a special envoy to the World Health Organization, has urged governments not to resort to lockdowns as the primary method to control the virus. Masks, social distancing, fewer crowds, testing and tracing -- these are the ways to control the virus in the long run, he said in an interview.But the lockdowns in the spring were necessary, he added, as emergency measures to give countries time to put in place strategies to control the virus."There is a middle way," Nabarro added, between strict lockdowns and letting the virus freely infect people. "If only we had a few more world leaders who would understand this, we wouldn't have this debate going on."But Bhattacharya and his supporters go further. They say that governments should never have imposed lockdowns at all, and never should have tried to institute coronavirus testing and contact-tracing.The manifesto's central tenet is that young people should be free to resume normal life -- to reenter the workforce, attend college, dine in restaurants. They would become infected, hopefully without much illness, and gain immunity.Eventually the virus would not be able to find new victims and would fade away."People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity," the declaration said.The strategy includes keeping older people cloistered, with regular testing to detect possible outbreaks in nursing homes, and with groceries and other necessities delivered to anyone over 60 sheltering at home. Alternately, older people might move to other facilities for isolation or quarantine.There would be no widespread surveillance for the coronavirus. People would be given information about testing, with an emphasis on those who have symptoms -- but when and how to get tested, and whether to isolate if infected, would be left up to individuals."Testing and isolating indiscriminately causes too much collateral damage for it to be useful," Bhattacharya said.But some experts said the strategy was highly impractical, given the difficulty in determining who is truly susceptible. The risk of death from COVID-19 rises sharply with age, but about 37% of adults in America also are at significant risk because of obesity, diabetes or other underlying conditions.The most recent statistics indicate that 20% of deaths from COVID-19 occur in people under age 65. And about a third of people who have recovered from the disease, including the young, still struggle with symptoms weeks later (a phenomenon the Barrington authors contest). "It's amazingly irresponsible" not to take these risks into account, Nabarro said.The declaration's strategy is both unethical and fails to account for human behavior, said Ruth Faden, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University.Many high-risk groups -- people who live in multigenerational families or in crowded living situations, or who have diabetes and obesity -- are disproportionately found in poor communities, she said. The declaration's strategy would require them to move away from their families or to risk having younger family members bring the virus home."Are we going to compel these people to leave? And if we're not going to compel them to leave, then how's this supposed to go?" she said. "Then you are going to see the deaths that you say we're not going to see."Reopening schools when community levels of the virus are high similarly rests on a misguided assumption that parents and teachers would agree to the strategy, she added.Scientists who have signed the declaration did not offer many details for putting its ideas in place."I don't know exactly how it would work," said Gabriela Gomes, a mathematical modeler at the University of Strathclyde in Britain and one of 42 co-signers.Another supporter, Paul McKeigue, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said, "Specific control measures for preventing coronavirus transmission are not my area of expertise."The lack of a clear plan has turned away even some would-be supporters. Dr. Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, attended part of the Great Barrington, Massachusetts, meeting and said he was sympathetic to the effort.But Baral, a Swedish citizen who supports that country's approach, said he did not sign the declaration because it did not lay out a plan for workplace or housing accommodations for people at risk.Sweden adopted an unrestrictive approach, offering guidelines to its citizens but leaving compliance up to them. The country is often cited as the model for controlling the virus without restrictions, but has among the highest death rates in the world, particularly among the elderly. It has also suffered economic losses comparable to those of other Nordic countries.It's possible to avoid even those risks without lockdowns if governments impose some reasonable restrictions like physical distancing and universal masks and install test and trace strategies, Nabarro said."I will contest anybody who says it is undoable," he added. "It's doable without collateral damage if you bring together all the local communities."The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, home to the American Institute for Economic Research, recently distanced itself from the declaration, saying the strategy it proposed could "cost millions of lives.""Anyone who might avoid Great Barrington, due to confusion over the Declaration, is invited to visit and see how COVID-safe works in a small New England town," the town's leaders wrote."Please wear a mask."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 56/82   All-female scientific coalition calls for protection of Antarctic Peninsula
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Climate change and human activity are harming Antarctica and threatening wildlife from humpback whales to microscopic algae, more than 280 scientists and conservation experts say in urging protections for the icy region.  The coalition - all women - called for creating a new marine protection area around Antarctica, as governments on Monday began a two-week meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.  Two Antarctica areas are already protected: The South Orkney Islands and the Ross Sea.

    Climate change and human activity are harming Antarctica and threatening wildlife from humpback whales to microscopic algae, more than 280 scientists and conservation experts say in urging protections for the icy region. The coalition - all women - called for creating a new marine protection area around Antarctica, as governments on Monday began a two-week meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Two Antarctica areas are already protected: The South Orkney Islands and the Ross Sea.


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  • 57/82   Millennials get little satisfaction from democracy - Cambridge study
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Young people are less satisfied with democracy and more disillusioned than at any other time in the past century, especially in Europe, North America, Africa and Australia, a study by the University of Cambridge has found.  Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, are more disillusioned than Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1981, or Baby Boomers born between 1944 and 1964 and the Interwar Generation of 1918-1943.  'Across the world, younger generations are not only more dissatisfied with democratic performance than the old, but also more discontented than previous generations at similar life stages,' the Cambridge study found.

    Young people are less satisfied with democracy and more disillusioned than at any other time in the past century, especially in Europe, North America, Africa and Australia, a study by the University of Cambridge has found. Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, are more disillusioned than Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1981, or Baby Boomers born between 1944 and 1964 and the Interwar Generation of 1918-1943. 'Across the world, younger generations are not only more dissatisfied with democratic performance than the old, but also more discontented than previous generations at similar life stages,' the Cambridge study found.


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  • 58/82   After a lemur was stolen from the San Francisco Zoo, a 5-year-old boy helped zookeepers track it down
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    James Trinh spotted Maki the lemur outside his preschool in Daly City. He and his family now have lifetime memberships to the San Francisco Zoo.

    James Trinh spotted Maki the lemur outside his preschool in Daly City. He and his family now have lifetime memberships to the San Francisco Zoo.


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  • 59/82   Space-station crew members just found an elusive air leak by watching tea leaves float in microgravity
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin released some tea leaves to float inside the station, then saw them cluster around a "scratch" in the wall.

    Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin released some tea leaves to float inside the station, then saw them cluster around a "scratch" in the wall.


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  • 60/82   Experts say Amy Coney Barrett's nomination could threaten IVF. Here's why.
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    The judge has a history of supporting anti-choice groups that believe life begins at fertilization and seek to criminalize aspects of IVF.

    The judge has a history of supporting anti-choice groups that believe life begins at fertilization and seek to criminalize aspects of IVF.


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  • 61/82   WHO: The US and Europe still aren't quarantining correctly, and that's why we're headed for a COVID-19 disaster this winter
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Get people who've been exposed to the virus away from everybody else, fast. That means no going to the grocery store, and no socializing with friends.

    Get people who've been exposed to the virus away from everybody else, fast. That means no going to the grocery store, and no socializing with friends.


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  • 62/82   All-female scientific coalition calls for protection of Antarctic Peninsula
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Climate change and human activity are harming Antarctica and threatening wildlife from humpback whales to microscopic algae, more than 280 scientists and conservation experts say in urging protections for the icy region.  The coalition - all women - called for creating a new marine protection area around Antarctica, as governments on Monday began a two-week meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.  Two Antarctica areas are already protected: The South Orkney Islands and the Ross Sea.

    Climate change and human activity are harming Antarctica and threatening wildlife from humpback whales to microscopic algae, more than 280 scientists and conservation experts say in urging protections for the icy region. The coalition - all women - called for creating a new marine protection area around Antarctica, as governments on Monday began a two-week meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Two Antarctica areas are already protected: The South Orkney Islands and the Ross Sea.


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  • 63/82   Russian media may be joining China and Iran in turning on Trump
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    It can be easy to overlook how the rest of the world is making sense of America’s chaotic campaign season. But in many cases, they’re paying attention just as closely as U.S. voters are. After all, who wins the U.S. presidency has implications for countries around the world. Since Sept. 22, we’ve been using machine-learning algorithms to identify the predominant themes in foreign media coverage.How different countries cover the race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden can shed some light on how foreign citizens discern the candidates and the American political process, especially in places that have strict state control of media like China, Russia and Iran. Unlike in the U.S., where there is a cacophony of perspectives, by and large the media in these three countries follow very similar narratives.In 2016, we did the same exercise. Back then, one of the main themes that emerged was the decline of U.S. democracy. With scandal and the disillusionment of voters dominating the headlines, America’s global competitors used the 2016 election to advance their own political narratives about U.S. decline. Some of these themes have emerged in the coverage of the current race. But the biggest difference is their portrayal of Trump. The last election cycle, candidate Trump was an unknown. Although foreign nations acknowledged his political inexperience, they were cautiously optimistic about Trump’s deal-making ability. Russian media outlets were particularly bullish on Trump’s potential. Now, however, the feelings appear to have changed. China, Iran and even Russia seem to crave a return to normalcy – and, to some extent, American leadership in the world. Dissecting the debateTo assess how America’s competitors make sense of the 2020 campaign, we tracked over 20 prominent news outlets from Chinese, Russian and Iranian native language media. We used automatic clustering algorithms to identify key narrative themes in the coverage and sentiment analysis to track how each country viewed the candidates. We then reviewed this AI-extracted information to validate our findings. While our results are still preliminary, they shed light on how these countries’ media outlets are portraying the two candidates. Two key moments from the 2020 campaign – the first debate and Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis – are particularly illustrative. After the first debate, the Chinese media questioned its usefulness to voters and generally portrayed Trump’s performance in a negative light. To them, the “chaotic” back-and-forth was a sobering reflection of America’s political turbulence. They described Trump as purposely sabotaging the debate by interrupting his opponent and, in the days after the debate, noted that his performance failed to improve his lagging poll numbers. Biden was criticized for being unable to articulate concrete policies, but was nonetheless praised for being able to avoid any major gaffes and – as an article from the Xinhua News Agency put it – responding to Trump with “fierce words.”Unlike in 2016, where Clinton was portrayed as anti-Russian, corrupt and elitist, Russian media appeared more willing to characterize the Democratic Party nominee in a positive light. In fact, Russian coverage expressed surprise over Biden’s debate performance. He didn’t come across as feeble; instead, he was, as the daily newspaper Kommersant wrote, a lively opponent who appeared to be “criticizing, irritating and humiliating” Trump by calling him a “liar, racist and the worst president.” They did praise Trump’s especially aggressive rhetoric. However, our analysis found that Russian media also repeatedly claimed that, unlike 2016, voters today were tiring of his bombast.While Trump’s post-debate posturing received some positive coverage, Russian media largely lamented his administration’s failure to deliver substantive progress toward normalizing relations between the two countries. They noted the debate neither clarified policies for voters nor for international observers. Iranian media took the strongest anti-Trump stance. Reports routinely pointed out that Trump has had no foreign policy successes, and has only exacerbated relations with the country’s major rivals. According to Iranian media outlets, Trump’s lack of accomplishments has left him with no choice but to rely on insults and personal attacks.Biden, however, was said to have kept his calm. As Al Alam News wrote, he used “more credible responses and attacks than Trump.”The former vice president, in their view, promised some semblance of normalized diplomatic relations. ‘Intransigence’ and ‘ignorance’The final month of the U.S. presidential race is known for last-minute surprises that can upend the race. This year was no exception, with Trump’s Oct. 2 announcement of his COVID-19 diagnosis quickly shifting media coverage from the debate to Trump’s health.He received little sympathy from foreign outlets. Across the board, they were quick to note how his personal disregard for public health safety measures symbolized his administration’s failed response to the pandemic.For example, one Chinese media outlet, The Beijing News, characterized the diagnosis as “hitting” the president “in the face,” given his previous downplaying of the epidemic. Other reports claimed Trump lacked “care about the epidemic,” including disregard for “protective measures such as wearing a mask.” Chinese outlets suggested Trump would use the diagnosis to win sympathy from voters, but also noted by being sidelined from holding campaign rallies, he could lose his “self-confessed” ability to attract voters. Russian media, on the other hand, remained confident that Trump would recover and repeated the White House line of Trump’s good health.At the same time, Russian outlets tended to chastise Trump’s unwillingness to avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing or wear a mask, all of which violated his administration’s basic health guidelines. Likewise, Russian reports criticized Trump’s post-diagnosis behavior – like tweeting video messages while at the hospital and violating quarantine with his public appearances – as “publicity stunts” that jeopardized the safety of his Secret Service detail and supporters. Again, Iranian media most directly criticized Trump. Reports characterized Trump as “determined to continue the same approach,” despite his diagnosis, and remain “without a muzzle,” “irresponsibly” continuing to tweet misinformation falsely comparing COVID-19 to the flu.Coverage centered on Trump’s inability to, as Al Alam put it, show “any sympathy” for the over 200,000 dead Americans. This death toll, the same article noted, was attributed to Trump’s “mismanagement, intransigence, ignorance and stupidity,” highlighted by his cavalier disregard for safety guidelines such as wearing a mask.  In the bag for Biden?Many of the criticisms of the U.S. found in foreign media outlets in our 2016 study appear in this year’s coverage. But since the 2016 election, geopolitics have changed quite a bit – and, for many of these countries, not necessarily for the better. That might best explain their collective ire toward Trump.During Trump’s first term, Iranians absorbed the U.S.‘s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the reimposition of sanctions and the assassination of one of its top generals. The Chinese entered into a trade war with the U.S., while the U.S. government leveled accusations of intellectual property theft, mass murder and blame for the spread of what Trump has called the “China Virus.” Russians, meanwhile, have seen themselves – fairly or not – bound to Trump’s 2016 election victory and outed as an international provocateur. That Trump has not been able to deliver on normalizing U.S. Russian relations despite four years of posturing and political rhetoric has perhaps made Trump more of a political liability than worthwhile ally. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic sparked unrest in Russia’s backyard, but mounting regional instability is also undermining Putin’s image as a master tactician. [Get our best science, health and technology stories. Sign up for The Conversation’s science newsletter.]As a result, these countries’ outlets appear to have shifted attention away from a broad critique of U.S. democracy toward exasperation with Trump’s leadership. The two, of course, aren’t mutually exclusive. And these countries’ relatively positive characterizations of a potential Biden administration likely won’t last. But even the country’s supposed adversaries seem to be craving a return to stability and predictability from the Oval Office.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Robert Hinck, Monmouth College; Robert Utterback, Monmouth College, and Skye Cooley, Oklahoma State University.Read more:    * For the ‘political-infotainment-media complex,’ the Mueller investigation was a gold mine  * How the media encourages – and sustains – political warfareRobert Hinck receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Defense. Robert Utterback receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Defense.Skye Cooley receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Defense.

    It can be easy to overlook how the rest of the world is making sense of America’s chaotic campaign season. But in many cases, they’re paying attention just as closely as U.S. voters are. After all, who wins the U.S. presidency has implications for countries around the world. Since Sept. 22, we’ve been using machine-learning algorithms to identify the predominant themes in foreign media coverage.How different countries cover the race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden can shed some light on how foreign citizens discern the candidates and the American political process, especially in places that have strict state control of media like China, Russia and Iran. Unlike in the U.S., where there is a cacophony of perspectives, by and large the media in these three countries follow very similar narratives.In 2016, we did the same exercise. Back then, one of the main themes that emerged was the decline of U.S. democracy. With scandal and the disillusionment of voters dominating the headlines, America’s global competitors used the 2016 election to advance their own political narratives about U.S. decline. Some of these themes have emerged in the coverage of the current race. But the biggest difference is their portrayal of Trump. The last election cycle, candidate Trump was an unknown. Although foreign nations acknowledged his political inexperience, they were cautiously optimistic about Trump’s deal-making ability. Russian media outlets were particularly bullish on Trump’s potential. Now, however, the feelings appear to have changed. China, Iran and even Russia seem to crave a return to normalcy – and, to some extent, American leadership in the world. Dissecting the debateTo assess how America’s competitors make sense of the 2020 campaign, we tracked over 20 prominent news outlets from Chinese, Russian and Iranian native language media. We used automatic clustering algorithms to identify key narrative themes in the coverage and sentiment analysis to track how each country viewed the candidates. We then reviewed this AI-extracted information to validate our findings. While our results are still preliminary, they shed light on how these countries’ media outlets are portraying the two candidates. Two key moments from the 2020 campaign – the first debate and Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis – are particularly illustrative. After the first debate, the Chinese media questioned its usefulness to voters and generally portrayed Trump’s performance in a negative light. To them, the “chaotic” back-and-forth was a sobering reflection of America’s political turbulence. They described Trump as purposely sabotaging the debate by interrupting his opponent and, in the days after the debate, noted that his performance failed to improve his lagging poll numbers. Biden was criticized for being unable to articulate concrete policies, but was nonetheless praised for being able to avoid any major gaffes and – as an article from the Xinhua News Agency put it – responding to Trump with “fierce words.”Unlike in 2016, where Clinton was portrayed as anti-Russian, corrupt and elitist, Russian media appeared more willing to characterize the Democratic Party nominee in a positive light. In fact, Russian coverage expressed surprise over Biden’s debate performance. He didn’t come across as feeble; instead, he was, as the daily newspaper Kommersant wrote, a lively opponent who appeared to be “criticizing, irritating and humiliating” Trump by calling him a “liar, racist and the worst president.” They did praise Trump’s especially aggressive rhetoric. However, our analysis found that Russian media also repeatedly claimed that, unlike 2016, voters today were tiring of his bombast.While Trump’s post-debate posturing received some positive coverage, Russian media largely lamented his administration’s failure to deliver substantive progress toward normalizing relations between the two countries. They noted the debate neither clarified policies for voters nor for international observers. Iranian media took the strongest anti-Trump stance. Reports routinely pointed out that Trump has had no foreign policy successes, and has only exacerbated relations with the country’s major rivals. According to Iranian media outlets, Trump’s lack of accomplishments has left him with no choice but to rely on insults and personal attacks.Biden, however, was said to have kept his calm. As Al Alam News wrote, he used “more credible responses and attacks than Trump.”The former vice president, in their view, promised some semblance of normalized diplomatic relations. ‘Intransigence’ and ‘ignorance’The final month of the U.S. presidential race is known for last-minute surprises that can upend the race. This year was no exception, with Trump’s Oct. 2 announcement of his COVID-19 diagnosis quickly shifting media coverage from the debate to Trump’s health.He received little sympathy from foreign outlets. Across the board, they were quick to note how his personal disregard for public health safety measures symbolized his administration’s failed response to the pandemic.For example, one Chinese media outlet, The Beijing News, characterized the diagnosis as “hitting” the president “in the face,” given his previous downplaying of the epidemic. Other reports claimed Trump lacked “care about the epidemic,” including disregard for “protective measures such as wearing a mask.” Chinese outlets suggested Trump would use the diagnosis to win sympathy from voters, but also noted by being sidelined from holding campaign rallies, he could lose his “self-confessed” ability to attract voters. Russian media, on the other hand, remained confident that Trump would recover and repeated the White House line of Trump’s good health.At the same time, Russian outlets tended to chastise Trump’s unwillingness to avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing or wear a mask, all of which violated his administration’s basic health guidelines. Likewise, Russian reports criticized Trump’s post-diagnosis behavior – like tweeting video messages while at the hospital and violating quarantine with his public appearances – as “publicity stunts” that jeopardized the safety of his Secret Service detail and supporters. Again, Iranian media most directly criticized Trump. Reports characterized Trump as “determined to continue the same approach,” despite his diagnosis, and remain “without a muzzle,” “irresponsibly” continuing to tweet misinformation falsely comparing COVID-19 to the flu.Coverage centered on Trump’s inability to, as Al Alam put it, show “any sympathy” for the over 200,000 dead Americans. This death toll, the same article noted, was attributed to Trump’s “mismanagement, intransigence, ignorance and stupidity,” highlighted by his cavalier disregard for safety guidelines such as wearing a mask. In the bag for Biden?Many of the criticisms of the U.S. found in foreign media outlets in our 2016 study appear in this year’s coverage. But since the 2016 election, geopolitics have changed quite a bit – and, for many of these countries, not necessarily for the better. That might best explain their collective ire toward Trump.During Trump’s first term, Iranians absorbed the U.S.‘s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the reimposition of sanctions and the assassination of one of its top generals. The Chinese entered into a trade war with the U.S., while the U.S. government leveled accusations of intellectual property theft, mass murder and blame for the spread of what Trump has called the “China Virus.” Russians, meanwhile, have seen themselves – fairly or not – bound to Trump’s 2016 election victory and outed as an international provocateur. That Trump has not been able to deliver on normalizing U.S. Russian relations despite four years of posturing and political rhetoric has perhaps made Trump more of a political liability than worthwhile ally. Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic sparked unrest in Russia’s backyard, but mounting regional instability is also undermining Putin’s image as a master tactician. [Get our best science, health and technology stories. Sign up for The Conversation’s science newsletter.]As a result, these countries’ outlets appear to have shifted attention away from a broad critique of U.S. democracy toward exasperation with Trump’s leadership. The two, of course, aren’t mutually exclusive. And these countries’ relatively positive characterizations of a potential Biden administration likely won’t last. But even the country’s supposed adversaries seem to be craving a return to stability and predictability from the Oval Office.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Robert Hinck, Monmouth College; Robert Utterback, Monmouth College, and Skye Cooley, Oklahoma State University.Read more: * For the ‘political-infotainment-media complex,’ the Mueller investigation was a gold mine * How the media encourages – and sustains – political warfareRobert Hinck receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Defense. Robert Utterback receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Defense.Skye Cooley receives funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Defense.


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  • 64/82   End Sars protests: Nigeria governor imposes curfew in Lagos
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The state governor says criminals have hijacked recent anti-police protests "to unleash mayhem".

    The state governor says criminals have hijacked recent anti-police protests "to unleash mayhem".


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  • 65/82   Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    A century ago Virginia’s coastal lagoons were a natural paradise. Fishing boats bobbed on the waves as geese flocked overhead. Beneath the surface, miles of seagrass gently swayed in the surf, making the seabed look like a vast underwater prairie. More than 70 species of seagrasses grow in shallow waters around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In Virginia, beds of eelgrass (Zostera marina) provided habitat for bay scallops and food for birds, and kept barrier islands from washing away. Eelgrass was so common that people who lived near the shore packed and baled it to use as insulation for homes, schools and hospitals. In the 1930s, however, pandemic plant disease and repeated hurricanes eliminated the eelgrass along Virginia’s eastern shore. The once-vibrant seafloor became barren mud, leading to a loss of “wildfowl, the cream of salt-water fishing, most of the clams and crabs, and all of the bay scallops,” sportsman and publisher Eugene V. Connett wrote in 1947. We are marine scientists who study seagrasses, marine biodiversity and coastal ecosystems. In a newly published study, we describe the results of a 20-year mission to reintroduce eelgrass into Virginia coastal bays using a novel seed-based approach. This project has now restored 9,600 acres of seagrasses across four bays – one of the most successful marine restoration efforts anywhere in the world. It has triggered large increases in fishes and invertebrates, made the water clearer and trapped large quantities of carbon in seafloor sediments, helping to slow climate change. We see this work as a blueprint for restoring and maintaining healthy ecosystems along coastlines around the world. Why didn’t seagrasses recover naturally?Development, nutrient runoff and other human impacts have damaged marshes, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses in many bays and estuaries worldwide. Loss or shrinkage of these key habitats has reduced commercial fisheries, increased erosion, made coastlines more vulnerable to floods and storms and harmed many types of aquatic life. Rapid climate change has compounded these effects through rising global temperatures, more frequent and severe storms and ocean acidification.In the late 1990s, local residents told two of us who are longtime students of seagrasses (Robert “JJ” Orth and Karen McGlathery) that they had spotted small patches of eelgrass in shallow waters off Virginia’s eastern shore. For years the conventional view had been that seagrasses in this area had not recovered from the events of the 1930s because human activities had made the area inhospitable for them.But studies showed that water quality in these coastal bays was comparatively good. This led us to explore a different explanation: Seeds from healthy seagrass populations elsewhere along the Atlantic coast simply weren’t reaching these isolated bays. Seagrasses are underwater flowering plants, so seeds are among the main ways they reproduce and spread to new environments. Sowing a new cropFrom our earlier research, we knew that when eelgrass seeds fall from the parent plant, they sink to the sea bottom quickly and don’t move far from where they land. We also knew that these seeds don’t germinate until late fall or early winter. This meant that if we collected the seeds in spring, when eelgrass flowers, we could hold them until the fall, helping them survive over the months in between.We decided to try reseeding eelgrass in the areas where they were missing. Starting in 1999, we collected seeds by hand from underwater meadows in nearby Chesapeake Bay – plucking the long reproductive shoots, bringing them back to our laboratory and holding them in large outdoor seawater tanks until they released their seeds naturally. After about 10 years we started gathering the grasses using a custom-built underwater “lawn mower” to collect many more of the reproductive shoots than we could by hand. In 2001 we sowed our first round by simply tossing seeds from a boat. Our first test plots covered 28 acres of mud flats in waters 2 to 3 feet deep. Returning the following year, we saw new seedlings sprouting up. Each year since then, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve, along with staff and students from the University of Virginia, have led a team of scientists and citizens to collect and seed a combined 536 acres of bare bottom in several coastal bays.These initial plots took off and rapidly expanded. By 2020 they covered 9,600 acres across four bays. Several factors helped them flourish. These bays are naturally flushed with cool, clean water from the Atlantic Ocean. And they lie off the tip of Virginia’s eastern shore, where there is little coastal development.  Sheltering marine life and storing carbonSince eelgrass disappeared from these bays in the 1930s, human understanding of seagrass ecosystems has evolved. Today people don’t pack their walls full of seagrass insulation but instead value different services they provide, such as habitat for fish and shellfish – including many commercially and recreationally important species.Scientists and government agencies also have recognized the importance of coastal systems in capturing and storing so-called “blue carbon.” In fact, we now know that seagrasses constitute a globally significant carbon sink. They are a key tool for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and slowing climate change[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]We are working to understand the valuable services that our restored seagrass beds provide. To our surprise, fish and invertebrates returned within only a few years as the meadows expanded. These organisms have established extensive food webs that include species ranging from tiny seahorses to 6-foot-long sandbar sharks.Other benefits were equally dramatic. Water in the bays become clearer as the seagrass canopy trapped floating particles and deposited them onto the bottom, burying significant stocks of carbon and nitrogen in sediments bound by the grasses’ roots. Our research is the first to verify the overall net carbon captured by seagrass, and is now being used to issue carbon offset credits that in turn create more funds for restoration. One big question was whether restoring seagrasses could make it possible to bring back bay scallops, which once generated millions of dollars for the local economy. Since bay scallops no longer existed in Virginia, we obtained broodstock from North Carolina, which we have reared and released annually since 2013. Regular surveys now reveal a growing population of bay scallops in the restored eelgrass, although there is still some way to go before they reach levels seen in the 1930s. A model for coastal restorationRepairing damaged ecosystems is such an urgent mission worldwide that the United Nations has designated 2021-2030 as the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We see the success we have achieved with eelgrass restoration as a prime model for similar efforts in coastal areas around the world. Our project focused not only on reviving this essential habitat, but also on charting how restoring seagrasses affected the ecosystem and on the co-restoration of bay scallops. It provides a road map for involving scholars, nonprofits organizations, citizens and government agencies in an ecological mission where they can see the results of their work.Recent assessments show that the restored zone only covers about 30% of the total habitable bottom in our project area. With continued support, eelgrass – and the many benefits it provides – may continue to thrive and expand well into the 21st century.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Robert J. Orth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Jonathan Lefcheck, Smithsonian Institution, and Karen McGlathery, University of Virginia.Read more:    * Mapping the world’s ‘blue carbon’ hot spots in coastal mangrove forests  * Mauritius oil spill: how coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass could be affectedRobert J. Orth receives funding from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Zone Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Recreational Fishing License Fund, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Virginia Sea Grant . He is an elected official on the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors as an independent. Jonathan Lefcheck is supported by the Michael E. Tennenbaum Secretarial Scholar gift to the Smithsonian Institution.Karen McGlathery receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Fisheries and Wildlife Foundation, and Virginia Sea Grant.

    A century ago Virginia’s coastal lagoons were a natural paradise. Fishing boats bobbed on the waves as geese flocked overhead. Beneath the surface, miles of seagrass gently swayed in the surf, making the seabed look like a vast underwater prairie. More than 70 species of seagrasses grow in shallow waters around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In Virginia, beds of eelgrass (Zostera marina) provided habitat for bay scallops and food for birds, and kept barrier islands from washing away. Eelgrass was so common that people who lived near the shore packed and baled it to use as insulation for homes, schools and hospitals. In the 1930s, however, pandemic plant disease and repeated hurricanes eliminated the eelgrass along Virginia’s eastern shore. The once-vibrant seafloor became barren mud, leading to a loss of “wildfowl, the cream of salt-water fishing, most of the clams and crabs, and all of the bay scallops,” sportsman and publisher Eugene V. Connett wrote in 1947. We are marine scientists who study seagrasses, marine biodiversity and coastal ecosystems. In a newly published study, we describe the results of a 20-year mission to reintroduce eelgrass into Virginia coastal bays using a novel seed-based approach. This project has now restored 9,600 acres of seagrasses across four bays – one of the most successful marine restoration efforts anywhere in the world. It has triggered large increases in fishes and invertebrates, made the water clearer and trapped large quantities of carbon in seafloor sediments, helping to slow climate change. We see this work as a blueprint for restoring and maintaining healthy ecosystems along coastlines around the world. Why didn’t seagrasses recover naturally?Development, nutrient runoff and other human impacts have damaged marshes, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses in many bays and estuaries worldwide. Loss or shrinkage of these key habitats has reduced commercial fisheries, increased erosion, made coastlines more vulnerable to floods and storms and harmed many types of aquatic life. Rapid climate change has compounded these effects through rising global temperatures, more frequent and severe storms and ocean acidification.In the late 1990s, local residents told two of us who are longtime students of seagrasses (Robert “JJ” Orth and Karen McGlathery) that they had spotted small patches of eelgrass in shallow waters off Virginia’s eastern shore. For years the conventional view had been that seagrasses in this area had not recovered from the events of the 1930s because human activities had made the area inhospitable for them.But studies showed that water quality in these coastal bays was comparatively good. This led us to explore a different explanation: Seeds from healthy seagrass populations elsewhere along the Atlantic coast simply weren’t reaching these isolated bays. Seagrasses are underwater flowering plants, so seeds are among the main ways they reproduce and spread to new environments. Sowing a new cropFrom our earlier research, we knew that when eelgrass seeds fall from the parent plant, they sink to the sea bottom quickly and don’t move far from where they land. We also knew that these seeds don’t germinate until late fall or early winter. This meant that if we collected the seeds in spring, when eelgrass flowers, we could hold them until the fall, helping them survive over the months in between.We decided to try reseeding eelgrass in the areas where they were missing. Starting in 1999, we collected seeds by hand from underwater meadows in nearby Chesapeake Bay – plucking the long reproductive shoots, bringing them back to our laboratory and holding them in large outdoor seawater tanks until they released their seeds naturally. After about 10 years we started gathering the grasses using a custom-built underwater “lawn mower” to collect many more of the reproductive shoots than we could by hand. In 2001 we sowed our first round by simply tossing seeds from a boat. Our first test plots covered 28 acres of mud flats in waters 2 to 3 feet deep. Returning the following year, we saw new seedlings sprouting up. Each year since then, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve, along with staff and students from the University of Virginia, have led a team of scientists and citizens to collect and seed a combined 536 acres of bare bottom in several coastal bays.These initial plots took off and rapidly expanded. By 2020 they covered 9,600 acres across four bays. Several factors helped them flourish. These bays are naturally flushed with cool, clean water from the Atlantic Ocean. And they lie off the tip of Virginia’s eastern shore, where there is little coastal development. Sheltering marine life and storing carbonSince eelgrass disappeared from these bays in the 1930s, human understanding of seagrass ecosystems has evolved. Today people don’t pack their walls full of seagrass insulation but instead value different services they provide, such as habitat for fish and shellfish – including many commercially and recreationally important species.Scientists and government agencies also have recognized the importance of coastal systems in capturing and storing so-called “blue carbon.” In fact, we now know that seagrasses constitute a globally significant carbon sink. They are a key tool for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and slowing climate change[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]We are working to understand the valuable services that our restored seagrass beds provide. To our surprise, fish and invertebrates returned within only a few years as the meadows expanded. These organisms have established extensive food webs that include species ranging from tiny seahorses to 6-foot-long sandbar sharks.Other benefits were equally dramatic. Water in the bays become clearer as the seagrass canopy trapped floating particles and deposited them onto the bottom, burying significant stocks of carbon and nitrogen in sediments bound by the grasses’ roots. Our research is the first to verify the overall net carbon captured by seagrass, and is now being used to issue carbon offset credits that in turn create more funds for restoration. One big question was whether restoring seagrasses could make it possible to bring back bay scallops, which once generated millions of dollars for the local economy. Since bay scallops no longer existed in Virginia, we obtained broodstock from North Carolina, which we have reared and released annually since 2013. Regular surveys now reveal a growing population of bay scallops in the restored eelgrass, although there is still some way to go before they reach levels seen in the 1930s. A model for coastal restorationRepairing damaged ecosystems is such an urgent mission worldwide that the United Nations has designated 2021-2030 as the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We see the success we have achieved with eelgrass restoration as a prime model for similar efforts in coastal areas around the world. Our project focused not only on reviving this essential habitat, but also on charting how restoring seagrasses affected the ecosystem and on the co-restoration of bay scallops. It provides a road map for involving scholars, nonprofits organizations, citizens and government agencies in an ecological mission where they can see the results of their work.Recent assessments show that the restored zone only covers about 30% of the total habitable bottom in our project area. With continued support, eelgrass – and the many benefits it provides – may continue to thrive and expand well into the 21st century.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Robert J. Orth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Jonathan Lefcheck, Smithsonian Institution, and Karen McGlathery, University of Virginia.Read more: * Mapping the world’s ‘blue carbon’ hot spots in coastal mangrove forests * Mauritius oil spill: how coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass could be affectedRobert J. Orth receives funding from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Coastal Zone Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Recreational Fishing License Fund, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of the Environment, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Virginia Sea Grant . He is an elected official on the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors as an independent. Jonathan Lefcheck is supported by the Michael E. Tennenbaum Secretarial Scholar gift to the Smithsonian Institution.Karen McGlathery receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Fisheries and Wildlife Foundation, and Virginia Sea Grant.


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  • 66/82   U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    WASHINGTON -- The strange sound came at night: a crack like a marble striking the floor of the apartment above them.Mark Lenzi and his wife had lightheadedness, sleep issues and headaches, and their children were waking up with bloody noses -- symptoms they thought might be from the smog in Guangzhou, China, where Lenzi worked for the State Department. But air pollution could not explain his sudden memory loss, including forgetting names of work tools.What began as strange sounds and symptoms among more than a dozen U.S. officials and their family members in China in 2018 has turned into a diplomatic mystery spanning multiple countries and involving speculation about secret high-tech weapons and foreign attacks.One of the biggest questions centers on whether Trump administration officials believe that Lenzi and other diplomats in China experienced the same mysterious affliction as dozens of diplomats and spies at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be known as Havana Syndrome. American employees in the two countries reported hearing strange sounds, followed by headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and memory loss.But the government's treatment of the episodes has been radically different. The State Department, which oversaw the cases, has produced inconsistent assessments of patients and events, ignored outside medical diagnoses and withheld basic information from Congress, a New York Times investigation found.In Cuba, the Trump administration withdrew most of its staff members from the embassy and issued a travel warning, saying U.S. diplomats had experienced "targeted attacks." President Donald Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington and started an independent review, though Cuba denied any involvement.The administration took a softer approach with China. In May 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the CIA director during the Cuba events, told lawmakers that the medical details of one U.S. official who had fallen ill in China were "very similar and entirely consistent" with the syndrome in Cuba. The administration evacuated more than a dozen federal employees and some of their family members.The State Department soon retreated, labeling what happened in China as "health incidents." While the officers in Cuba were placed on administrative leave for rehabilitation, those in China initially had to use sick days and unpaid leave, some officers and their lawyers say. And the State Department did not open an investigation into what happened in China.The administration has said little about the events in China and played down the idea that a hostile power could be responsible. But similar episodes have been reported by senior CIA officers who visited the agency's stations overseas, according to three current and former officials and others familiar with the events.That includes Moscow, where Marc Polymeropoulos, a CIA officer who helped run clandestine operations in Russia and Europe, experienced what he believes was an attack in December 2017. Polymeropoulos, who was 48 at the time, suffered severe vertigo in his hotel room in Moscow and later developed debilitating migraine headaches that forced him to retire.The cases involving CIA officers, none of which have been publicly reported, are adding to suspicions that Russia carried out the attacks worldwide. Some senior Russia analysts in the CIA, officials at the State Department and outside scientists, as well as several of the victims, see Russia as the most likely culprit given its history with weapons that cause brain injuries and its interest in fracturing Washington's relations with Beijing and Havana.The CIA director remains unconvinced, and State Department leaders say they have not settled on a cause.Critics say disparities in how the officers were treated stemmed from diplomatic and political considerations, including the president's desire to strengthen relations with Russia and win a trade deal with China.China diplomats began reporting strange symptoms in spring 2018, as U.S. officials stationed there were trying to coax their Chinese counterparts into a trade deal that Trump had promised to deliver. The president was also looking to Beijing for help in clinching nuclear talks with North Korea and consistently lavished praise on Xi Jinping, China's authoritarian leader.According to half a dozen U.S. officials, State Department leaders realized that pursuing a similar course of action as they had in Cuba -- including evacuating missions in China -- could cripple diplomatic and economic relationships.With Cuba, Trump sought to reverse President Barack Obama's detente. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana during the events, said the Trump administration's move to withdraw staff members "dovetailed fortuitously with their objective on Cuba."Those who fled China have spent more than two years fighting to obtain the same benefits given to the victims in Cuba and others attacked by foreign powers. The battles have complicated their recovery and prompted government retaliation that might have permanently damaged their careers, according to interviews with more than 30 government officials, lawyers and doctors.U.S. lawmakers have criticized what they call secrecy and inaction from the State Department and are pressing the agency to release a study it received in August from the National Academies of Sciences, which examined potential causes of the episodes."These injuries, and subsequent treatment by the U.S. government, have been a living nightmare for these dedicated public servants and their families," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. "It's obvious how a U.S. adversary would have much to gain from the disorder, distress and division that has followed."Dr. David A. Relman, a Stanford University professor who is chair of the National Academies of Sciences committee that examined the cases, said it was "disheartening and immensely frustrating" that the State Department had refused to share the report with the public or Congress "for reasons that elude us."In a statement, the department said: "The safety and security of U.S. personnel, their families and U.S. citizens is our top priority. The U.S. government has not yet determined a cause or an actor."Lenzi said he had sued the department for disability discrimination, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is pursuing two investigations into the State Department's conduct.The Office of Special Counsel declined to comment. But in an April 23 letter viewed by the Times, special counsel officials said investigators had "found a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" by the State Department, though the inquiry continues."This is a deliberate, high-level cover-up," Lenzi said. "They have hung us out to dry."The situation has been complicated by the fact that U.S. officials and scientists still debate whether the symptoms resulted from an attack.Many diplomats, CIA officers and scientists suspect a weapon producing microwave radiation damaged the victims' brains. But some scientists and government officials argue it was a psychological illness that spread in the stressful environment of foreign missions. Some point to chemical agents, like pesticides.The Trump administration has not clarified its view or said exactly how many people were affected.At least 44 people in Cuba and 15 in China were evaluated or treated at the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania. Others went elsewhere. At least 14 Canadian citizens in Havana say they have suffered similar symptoms.Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania declined to discuss details but dismissed the idea of a psychological illness, saying the patients they treated had sustained a brain injury from an external source.Some senior officials at the State Department and former intelligence officers said they believed Russia played a role. The country's intelligence operatives have seeded violence around the world, poisoning enemies in Britain and fueling assaults on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.During the Cold War, the Soviet Union bombarded the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with microwaves. In a 2014 document, the National Security Agency said it had intelligence on a hostile country using a high-powered microwave weapon to "bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves," causing nervous system damage. The name of the country was classified, but people familiar with the document said it referred to Russia.Several of the cases against the CIA affected senior officers who were traveling overseas to discuss plans to counter Russian covert operations with partner intelligence agencies, according to two people familiar with the matter. Some CIA analysts believe Moscow was trying to derail that work.Polymeropoulos declined to discuss his experiences in Moscow, but he criticized how the U.S. government had handled its injured personnel. He is pushing the agency to allow him to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the hospital that has treated some of those who were affected in Cuba.Some top U.S. officials insist on seeing more evidence before accusing Russia. Gina Haspel, the CIA director, has acknowledged that Moscow had the intent to harm operatives, but she is not convinced it was responsible or that attacks occurred, two U.S. officials said.Nicole de Haay, a CIA spokesperson, said the "CIA's first priority has been and continues to be the welfare of all of our officers."Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, has called any insinuation of Moscow's involvement "absolutely absurd and bizarre." A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington said the purported attacks were most likely a case of "mass hysteria."Lenzi, who has an extensive background working in the former Soviet Union, said classified material pointed to the country that had carried out the attacks, but the State Department denied him access to the documents.Top officials "know exactly which country" was responsible, Lenzi said, adding that it was not Cuba or China but another country "which the secretary of state and president do not want to confront."The first person to fall ill in China, a Commerce Department officer named Catherine Werner, who lived next door to Lenzi, experienced vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness for months before she was flown to the United States in April 2018.According to a whistleblower complaint filed by Lenzi, the State Department took action only after Werner's visiting mother, an Air Force veteran, used a device to record high levels of microwave radiation in her daughter's apartment. The mother also fell ill.That May, U.S. officials held a meeting to reassure U.S. officers in Guangzhou that Werner's sickness appeared to be an isolated case. But Lenzi, a diplomatic security officer, wrote in a memo to the White House that his supervisor insisted on using inferior equipment to measure microwaves in Werner's apartment, calling it a "check-the-box exercise.""They didn't find anything, because they didn't want to find anything," Lenzi said.He sent an email warning U.S. diplomats in China that they might be in danger. His superiors sent a psychiatrist to evaluate him and gave him an official "letter of admonishment," Lenzi said.Months after he began reporting symptoms of brain injury, he and his family were medically evacuated to the University of Pennsylvania.Other officers in China were experiencing similar symptoms. Robyn Garfield, a Commerce Department officer, was evacuated from Shanghai with his wife and two children in June 2018.Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania told Garfield that his injuries were similar to those of Americans in Cuba, but the State Department's medical bureau said they stemmed from a 17-year-old baseball injury, he wrote in a Facebook group for U.S. diplomats in March 2019.The State Department labeled only one China officer as having the "full constellation" of symptoms consistent with the Cuba cases: Werner, the first evacuee. In an internal letter, the department said 15 others in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing had some symptoms and clinical findings "similar to those" in Cuba, but it had not determined they were suffering from "Havana syndrome."Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania said they did not share individual brain scans with the State Department, so the government lacked necessary information to rule out brain injuries in China."It seems to me and my doctors that State does not want any additional cases from China," Garfield wrote, "regardless of the medical findings."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    WASHINGTON -- The strange sound came at night: a crack like a marble striking the floor of the apartment above them.Mark Lenzi and his wife had lightheadedness, sleep issues and headaches, and their children were waking up with bloody noses -- symptoms they thought might be from the smog in Guangzhou, China, where Lenzi worked for the State Department. But air pollution could not explain his sudden memory loss, including forgetting names of work tools.What began as strange sounds and symptoms among more than a dozen U.S. officials and their family members in China in 2018 has turned into a diplomatic mystery spanning multiple countries and involving speculation about secret high-tech weapons and foreign attacks.One of the biggest questions centers on whether Trump administration officials believe that Lenzi and other diplomats in China experienced the same mysterious affliction as dozens of diplomats and spies at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be known as Havana Syndrome. American employees in the two countries reported hearing strange sounds, followed by headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and memory loss.But the government's treatment of the episodes has been radically different. The State Department, which oversaw the cases, has produced inconsistent assessments of patients and events, ignored outside medical diagnoses and withheld basic information from Congress, a New York Times investigation found.In Cuba, the Trump administration withdrew most of its staff members from the embassy and issued a travel warning, saying U.S. diplomats had experienced "targeted attacks." President Donald Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington and started an independent review, though Cuba denied any involvement.The administration took a softer approach with China. In May 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the CIA director during the Cuba events, told lawmakers that the medical details of one U.S. official who had fallen ill in China were "very similar and entirely consistent" with the syndrome in Cuba. The administration evacuated more than a dozen federal employees and some of their family members.The State Department soon retreated, labeling what happened in China as "health incidents." While the officers in Cuba were placed on administrative leave for rehabilitation, those in China initially had to use sick days and unpaid leave, some officers and their lawyers say. And the State Department did not open an investigation into what happened in China.The administration has said little about the events in China and played down the idea that a hostile power could be responsible. But similar episodes have been reported by senior CIA officers who visited the agency's stations overseas, according to three current and former officials and others familiar with the events.That includes Moscow, where Marc Polymeropoulos, a CIA officer who helped run clandestine operations in Russia and Europe, experienced what he believes was an attack in December 2017. Polymeropoulos, who was 48 at the time, suffered severe vertigo in his hotel room in Moscow and later developed debilitating migraine headaches that forced him to retire.The cases involving CIA officers, none of which have been publicly reported, are adding to suspicions that Russia carried out the attacks worldwide. Some senior Russia analysts in the CIA, officials at the State Department and outside scientists, as well as several of the victims, see Russia as the most likely culprit given its history with weapons that cause brain injuries and its interest in fracturing Washington's relations with Beijing and Havana.The CIA director remains unconvinced, and State Department leaders say they have not settled on a cause.Critics say disparities in how the officers were treated stemmed from diplomatic and political considerations, including the president's desire to strengthen relations with Russia and win a trade deal with China.China diplomats began reporting strange symptoms in spring 2018, as U.S. officials stationed there were trying to coax their Chinese counterparts into a trade deal that Trump had promised to deliver. The president was also looking to Beijing for help in clinching nuclear talks with North Korea and consistently lavished praise on Xi Jinping, China's authoritarian leader.According to half a dozen U.S. officials, State Department leaders realized that pursuing a similar course of action as they had in Cuba -- including evacuating missions in China -- could cripple diplomatic and economic relationships.With Cuba, Trump sought to reverse President Barack Obama's detente. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana during the events, said the Trump administration's move to withdraw staff members "dovetailed fortuitously with their objective on Cuba."Those who fled China have spent more than two years fighting to obtain the same benefits given to the victims in Cuba and others attacked by foreign powers. The battles have complicated their recovery and prompted government retaliation that might have permanently damaged their careers, according to interviews with more than 30 government officials, lawyers and doctors.U.S. lawmakers have criticized what they call secrecy and inaction from the State Department and are pressing the agency to release a study it received in August from the National Academies of Sciences, which examined potential causes of the episodes."These injuries, and subsequent treatment by the U.S. government, have been a living nightmare for these dedicated public servants and their families," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. "It's obvious how a U.S. adversary would have much to gain from the disorder, distress and division that has followed."Dr. David A. Relman, a Stanford University professor who is chair of the National Academies of Sciences committee that examined the cases, said it was "disheartening and immensely frustrating" that the State Department had refused to share the report with the public or Congress "for reasons that elude us."In a statement, the department said: "The safety and security of U.S. personnel, their families and U.S. citizens is our top priority. The U.S. government has not yet determined a cause or an actor."Lenzi said he had sued the department for disability discrimination, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is pursuing two investigations into the State Department's conduct.The Office of Special Counsel declined to comment. But in an April 23 letter viewed by the Times, special counsel officials said investigators had "found a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" by the State Department, though the inquiry continues."This is a deliberate, high-level cover-up," Lenzi said. "They have hung us out to dry."The situation has been complicated by the fact that U.S. officials and scientists still debate whether the symptoms resulted from an attack.Many diplomats, CIA officers and scientists suspect a weapon producing microwave radiation damaged the victims' brains. But some scientists and government officials argue it was a psychological illness that spread in the stressful environment of foreign missions. Some point to chemical agents, like pesticides.The Trump administration has not clarified its view or said exactly how many people were affected.At least 44 people in Cuba and 15 in China were evaluated or treated at the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania. Others went elsewhere. At least 14 Canadian citizens in Havana say they have suffered similar symptoms.Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania declined to discuss details but dismissed the idea of a psychological illness, saying the patients they treated had sustained a brain injury from an external source.Some senior officials at the State Department and former intelligence officers said they believed Russia played a role. The country's intelligence operatives have seeded violence around the world, poisoning enemies in Britain and fueling assaults on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.During the Cold War, the Soviet Union bombarded the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with microwaves. In a 2014 document, the National Security Agency said it had intelligence on a hostile country using a high-powered microwave weapon to "bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves," causing nervous system damage. The name of the country was classified, but people familiar with the document said it referred to Russia.Several of the cases against the CIA affected senior officers who were traveling overseas to discuss plans to counter Russian covert operations with partner intelligence agencies, according to two people familiar with the matter. Some CIA analysts believe Moscow was trying to derail that work.Polymeropoulos declined to discuss his experiences in Moscow, but he criticized how the U.S. government had handled its injured personnel. He is pushing the agency to allow him to go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the hospital that has treated some of those who were affected in Cuba.Some top U.S. officials insist on seeing more evidence before accusing Russia. Gina Haspel, the CIA director, has acknowledged that Moscow had the intent to harm operatives, but she is not convinced it was responsible or that attacks occurred, two U.S. officials said.Nicole de Haay, a CIA spokesperson, said the "CIA's first priority has been and continues to be the welfare of all of our officers."Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, has called any insinuation of Moscow's involvement "absolutely absurd and bizarre." A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington said the purported attacks were most likely a case of "mass hysteria."Lenzi, who has an extensive background working in the former Soviet Union, said classified material pointed to the country that had carried out the attacks, but the State Department denied him access to the documents.Top officials "know exactly which country" was responsible, Lenzi said, adding that it was not Cuba or China but another country "which the secretary of state and president do not want to confront."The first person to fall ill in China, a Commerce Department officer named Catherine Werner, who lived next door to Lenzi, experienced vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness for months before she was flown to the United States in April 2018.According to a whistleblower complaint filed by Lenzi, the State Department took action only after Werner's visiting mother, an Air Force veteran, used a device to record high levels of microwave radiation in her daughter's apartment. The mother also fell ill.That May, U.S. officials held a meeting to reassure U.S. officers in Guangzhou that Werner's sickness appeared to be an isolated case. But Lenzi, a diplomatic security officer, wrote in a memo to the White House that his supervisor insisted on using inferior equipment to measure microwaves in Werner's apartment, calling it a "check-the-box exercise.""They didn't find anything, because they didn't want to find anything," Lenzi said.He sent an email warning U.S. diplomats in China that they might be in danger. His superiors sent a psychiatrist to evaluate him and gave him an official "letter of admonishment," Lenzi said.Months after he began reporting symptoms of brain injury, he and his family were medically evacuated to the University of Pennsylvania.Other officers in China were experiencing similar symptoms. Robyn Garfield, a Commerce Department officer, was evacuated from Shanghai with his wife and two children in June 2018.Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania told Garfield that his injuries were similar to those of Americans in Cuba, but the State Department's medical bureau said they stemmed from a 17-year-old baseball injury, he wrote in a Facebook group for U.S. diplomats in March 2019.The State Department labeled only one China officer as having the "full constellation" of symptoms consistent with the Cuba cases: Werner, the first evacuee. In an internal letter, the department said 15 others in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing had some symptoms and clinical findings "similar to those" in Cuba, but it had not determined they were suffering from "Havana syndrome."Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania said they did not share individual brain scans with the State Department, so the government lacked necessary information to rule out brain injuries in China."It seems to me and my doctors that State does not want any additional cases from China," Garfield wrote, "regardless of the medical findings."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 67/82   DR Congo jail break: 'Islamist ADF rebels' free 900 inmates
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The attackers came in large numbers and broke the jail's door, officials say.

    The attackers came in large numbers and broke the jail's door, officials say.


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  • 68/82   Election 2020 Today: Trump burns funds, GOP gets out vote
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    ON THE TRAIL: President Donald Trump will be in Pennsylvania.  TRUMP SPENDING: Trump’s sprawling political operation raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 — and set a lot of it on fire.  Now, with two weeks until the election, his campaign acknowledges it is facing difficult spending decisions at a time when Democratic nominee Joe Biden has flooded the airwaves with advertising. That has put Trump in the position of needing to do more of his signature rallies during the coronavirus pandemic while relying on an unproven theory that he can turn out infrequent voters who nonetheless support him at historic levels.

    ON THE TRAIL: President Donald Trump will be in Pennsylvania. TRUMP SPENDING: Trump’s sprawling political operation raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 — and set a lot of it on fire. Now, with two weeks until the election, his campaign acknowledges it is facing difficult spending decisions at a time when Democratic nominee Joe Biden has flooded the airwaves with advertising. That has put Trump in the position of needing to do more of his signature rallies during the coronavirus pandemic while relying on an unproven theory that he can turn out infrequent voters who nonetheless support him at historic levels.


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  • 69/82   Coronavirus: What's happening to the numbers in Africa?
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    There's been a rise recently in cases and deaths in some areas, but is this a longer-term trend?

    There's been a rise recently in cases and deaths in some areas, but is this a longer-term trend?


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  • 70/82   Trump set to remove Sudan from state sponsors of terrorism list
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The US president says he will act once Sudan pays $335m to "US terror victims and families".

    The US president says he will act once Sudan pays $335m to "US terror victims and families".


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  • 71/82   Yom Kippur Zoom reunites Holocaust survivors 71 years later
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Holocaust survivors Ruth Brandspiegel and Israel “Sasha” Eisenberg call their reunion a miracle that began on the holiest day in Judaism, and it only happened thanks to a prayer service that was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Decades ago their families, who came from the same city in Poland, escaped the Nazis, crossed into the Soviet Union and were sent to different labor camps in Siberia, where Eisenberg was born.  More than 70 years later, Brandspiegel, now a Philadelphia resident, heard a familiar name being called out in a Yom Kippur service held in late September via Zoom by her son's synagogue in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

    Holocaust survivors Ruth Brandspiegel and Israel “Sasha” Eisenberg call their reunion a miracle that began on the holiest day in Judaism, and it only happened thanks to a prayer service that was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Decades ago their families, who came from the same city in Poland, escaped the Nazis, crossed into the Soviet Union and were sent to different labor camps in Siberia, where Eisenberg was born. More than 70 years later, Brandspiegel, now a Philadelphia resident, heard a familiar name being called out in a Yom Kippur service held in late September via Zoom by her son's synagogue in East Brunswick, New Jersey.


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  • 72/82   Danish sub killer recaptured after attempted prison escape
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine escaped the suburban Copenhagen jail where he is serving a life sentence but was found nearby Tuesday.  The Ekstra Bladet tabloid posted a video of Peter Madsen sitting in the grass with his hands behind his back and police at distance.  According to the daily, Madsen “had a belt-like object around the abdomen.”

    A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine escaped the suburban Copenhagen jail where he is serving a life sentence but was found nearby Tuesday. The Ekstra Bladet tabloid posted a video of Peter Madsen sitting in the grass with his hands behind his back and police at distance. According to the daily, Madsen “had a belt-like object around the abdomen.”


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  • 73/82   Trump rips Biden and Fauci for coronavirus 'bad calls' and again suggests the pandemic nearly over
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump attacked Joe Biden and the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci during a campaign rally in Prescott, Ariz.

    President Trump attacked Joe Biden and the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci during a campaign rally in Prescott, Ariz.


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  • 74/82   Trump's rallies define his view of liberty: The right not to care about other people
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump made a fateful decision last week to return to holding mass rallies despite warnings from health officials about doing so during a pandemic.

    President Trump made a fateful decision last week to return to holding mass rallies despite warnings from health officials about doing so during a pandemic.


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  • 75/82   Trump rails against 'disaster' Fauci on campaign staff call
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    On a campaign call Monday morning, Trump repeatedly insulted the country's top infectious disease expert.

    On a campaign call Monday morning, Trump repeatedly insulted the country's top infectious disease expert.


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  • 76/82   Trump, Biden campaigns approach COVID threat very differently
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Joe Biden’s campaign has been adamant that they’ve followed coronavirus mitigation efforts for months and that they’ve been transparent with reporters, in contrast to the Trump administration.

    Joe Biden’s campaign has been adamant that they’ve followed coronavirus mitigation efforts for months and that they’ve been transparent with reporters, in contrast to the Trump administration.


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  • 77/82   Almost all of Wisconsin is classified as a COVID 'hot spot'
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Officials in the state report some hospitals have already reached 90 percent capacity in their intensive care units.

    Officials in the state report some hospitals have already reached 90 percent capacity in their intensive care units.


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  • 78/82   Outrage boils over in Kansas City after video captures arrest of pregnant Black woman
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    A Kansas City woman gave birth on Friday, just over two weeks after she was thrown to the ground by police in an altercation at an event commemorating a murder victim.

    A Kansas City woman gave birth on Friday, just over two weeks after she was thrown to the ground by police in an altercation at an event commemorating a murder victim.


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  • 79/82   How a Florida hockey game became a COVID-19 'superspreader' event
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    The game, which took place on June 16, did not lead to any hospitalizations or deaths. But it does represent one of the few documented instances of viral spread stemming from an athletic event.

    The game, which took place on June 16, did not lead to any hospitalizations or deaths. But it does represent one of the few documented instances of viral spread stemming from an athletic event.


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  • 80/82   Fauci says to be safe, his family won't be gathering for Thanksgiving
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is not going to be gathering with his children on Thanksgiving because they are concerned about the threat of the coronavirus, which is surging in more than 30 states.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is not going to be gathering with his children on Thanksgiving because they are concerned about the threat of the coronavirus, which is surging in more than 30 states.


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  • 81/82   What Dr. Fauci says when asked about Trump's crowded rallies
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    The nation's top infectious disease expert remains concerned that large-scale gatherings like President Trump's campaign rallies will lead to more coronavirus outbreaks.

    The nation's top infectious disease expert remains concerned that large-scale gatherings like President Trump's campaign rallies will lead to more coronavirus outbreaks.


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  • 82/82   Barron Trump also tested positive for COVID-19, first lady says
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump’s 14-year-old son, Barron, tested positive for COVID-19 but did not show any symptoms, first lady Melania Trump disclosed Wednesday, about two weeks after it was revealed that she and the president had contracted the disease.

    President Trump’s 14-year-old son, Barron, tested positive for COVID-19 but did not show any symptoms, first lady Melania Trump disclosed Wednesday, about two weeks after it was revealed that she and the president had contracted the disease.


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