Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trail

Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trailPresident Trump’s reelection bid has had a rough few weeks, with challenges coming from both his stewardship of the presidency and past controversies that may be catching up with him.


Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removal

Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removalCounterprotesters said a passing driver pointed a gun at them Friday and said “All Lives Matter,” as competing groups gathered in front of South Carolina’s capitol building to mark the five-year anniversary of the state's removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds. The driver stopped in the middle of the road and stuck his middle finger out at several demonstrators who were on a road median shortly before noon, protester Kamison Burgess told The State newspaper.


Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people

Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million peopleJack Dorsey's fellow Silicon Valley billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg think a universal basic income could help poor Americans, too.


Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'

Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'Will Democrats get what they want from Biden? Political analyst Tezlyn Figaro and attorney Alex Swoyer debate.


No regrets: wounded Hong Kong police vow to keep enforcing law

No regrets: wounded Hong Kong police vow to keep enforcing lawNine months ago he was burned by corrosive liquid hurled during anti-government protests, but Hong Kong police officer Ling says he has no regrets and remains devoted to being a law enforcer. Officers like Ling have formed the spear tip of Beijing's pushback against huge and often violent pro-democracy protests in the restless finance hub. Now the police have been given expanded powers under a sweeping new national security law imposed by Beijing that aims to crush the democracy movement once and for all.


'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns

'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returnsThe pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s backIn West Virginia, they are bracing for the second wave.The epidemic that hit the Appalachian state harder than any other in the US finally looked to be in retreat. Now it’s advancing again. Not coronavirus but opioid overdoses, with one scourge driving a resurgence of the other.Covid-19 has claimed 93 lives in West Virginia over the past three months. That is only a fraction of those killed by drug overdoses, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths in the state in 2018 alone, mostly from opioids but also methamphetamine (also known as meth).That year was better than the one before as the Appalachian state appeared to turn the tide on an epidemic that has ravaged the region for two decades, destroying lives, tearing apart families and dragging down local economies.Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.“Once the tsunami of Covid-19 finally recedes, we’re going to be left with the social conditions that enabled the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place, and those are not going to go away.”To Brumage and others, coronavirus has also shown what can happen when the government takes a public health emergency seriously, unlike the opioid epidemic, which was largely ignored even as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands.The American Medical Association said it was “greatly concerned” at reported increases in opioid overdoses in more than 30 states although it will be months before hard data is available.> Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection> > Dr Mike BrumagePublic health officials from Kentucky to Florida, Texas and Colorado have recorded surges in opioid deaths as the economic and social anxieties created by the Covid-19 pandemic prove fertile ground for addiction. In addition, Brumage said significant numbers of people have fallen out of treatment programmes as support networks have been yanked away by social distancing orders.“I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.“Many of the people who were using the programme either didn’t have broadband or they didn’t have cellphone service, especially those who were homeless. They just fell out of the programme,” he said.The resurgence was not unforeseen. In March, as Covid-19 escalated, Donald Trump warned about the human toll beyond lives claimed by the virus. “You’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction. You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before. And people are going to be dying all over the place from drug addiction,” he said.Brumage and others who spoke to the Guardian were at pains to say they believed the scale of the government’s response to Covid-19 is necessary. But they saw the mobilisation of financial resources and political will to cope with the virus in stark contrast to the response of successive administrations to the opioid epidemic.Emily Walden lost her son to an opioid overdose and now heads Fed Up!, a group campaigning to reduce the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing levels.“Congress immediately acted with coronavirus to help those that lost their jobs, to make sure that people were taken care of and it was addressed properly,” she said. “Look at the difference with the opioid epidemic, which has largely been ignored by our federal government for 20 years.”While the US government has thrown $6tn at coronavirus, the Trump administration dedicated just $6bn to directly dealing with opioid addiction over his first two years in office even though about the same number of people died of drug overdoses in that period as have now been lost to Covid-19.Brumage said federal health institutions have shifted their focus to coronavirus, including freezing a $1bn research project to find less addictive pain treatments.> You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous> > Dr Mike Brumage“It’s robbed the oxygen out of the room and made it the sole focus of what’s happening,” said Brumage. “There’s also a fatigue about the opioid crisis. You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous, but it’s not happening at the same speed and scale as the coronavirus is having right now.” Brumage attributes the difference in response in part to attitudes toward drug addiction.“The difference between getting Covid and dying of an overdose is stigma around drug use. This has been ingrained across the United States – that people using drugs are somehow seen as morally deficient and so it becomes easier then to other and alienate those people,” he said.Walden does not accept that explanation. Like many whose families have been devastated by opioids, she sees a personal and public health catastrophe perpetuated by the financial and political power of the pharmaceutical industry to drive the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing rates which were a major factor in driving the epidemic.“This comes down to lobbyists and money. People say it’s stigma and it’s not. There is stigma but it’s about profits and greed,” she said.Dr Raeford Brown, a former chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s opioid advisory committee, is a longstanding critic of drug industry influence over opioid medical policy and the government’s response to the epidemic. He sees a parallel with coronavirus with US states lifting strong social distancing orders too early under corporate pressure.“The United States is not good at doing public health,” he said. “It failed the test with opioids and it failed the test with viral pandemics. But coronavirus and pandemics, and the things like the opioid crisis, are much more likely to get us than the Russians or the Chinese are.”


Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'

Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'The U.S. government is already working with vaccine manufacturers to make hundreds of millions of doses, the nation's top infectious disease expert said.


Heat advisory issued as South Florida prepares to break temperature records

Heat advisory issued as South Florida prepares to break temperature recordsIf Thursday felt unbearably hot in South Florida, Friday has turned the broiler up a notch.


Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker

Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker'The biggest determining factor of whether you live around toxicity is the color of your skin'


DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump Convention

DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump ConventionWASHINGTON -- When President Donald Trump first threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida started campaigning to bring the event to his state.But now, as convention planners in Jacksonville, Florida, seek to raise tens of millions of dollars on an almost impossibly rushed time frame, and in the middle of a raging pandemic, the governor is hindering those efforts, interviews show.DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fundraiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions.Wiles is a veteran Republican operative who led Trump's Florida team in 2016 and who ran DeSantis' 2018 campaign for governor. DeSantis' relationship with Wiles soured over his suspicion that she had leaked embarrassing information.Wiles, who lives in Jacksonville, rejoined the Trump campaign as an unpaid adviser last week, as the president's poll numbers in Florida, the country's biggest battleground state, have slipped and as he has sought to recreate his winning team from four years ago.Barker, the top DeSantis fundraiser, has been explicit with donors in Florida that the governor will not be helpful with rounding up money for the convention because of the involvement of Wiles, according to the people familiar with the conversations. In a phone call with Trump about whether to involve Wiles in the convention planning, DeSantis also told the president that she was overrated as an operative and that she had little to do with Trump's 2016 victory in the state, a person familiar with the discussion said. Trump did not respond, and changed the subject.Wiles declined to comment.In an interview Wednesday, Barker denied any attempt to undercut the convention, or to encourage people to withhold support. "We are encouraging all people to participate and we hope it's a success for the president," Barker said. "We just hope everything is a success and want it to be, however they want to structure things and put things together."The threat of the governor's working to undermine convention fundraising at first caused alarm among members of the Jacksonville host committee, who described efforts to raise money as particularly challenging because of the uncertainty caused by a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida Republicans are now under pressure to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next five weeks to help finance the three-day convention.In Florida, and in most states, the governor is the de facto head of the party and its fundraising efforts. The governor's threat to hold up resources in his own state was seen by Republican officials as a stunning act of political pettiness by DeSantis, who had campaigned to bring the convention to Florida, aiming to celebrate a president whose backing elevated him to his current position.Trump's endorsement of DeSantis, then a congressman and a fixture on Fox News, catapulted him to victory in the 2018 Republican primary. The president, who will travel to Florida for a fundraiser Friday, also forcefully backed DeSantis in the general election in which he scored a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum.People involved in the fundraising process said that the money for the convention was mostly coming from national donors, not donors from Florida, and that DeSantis' antipathy was having no noticeable impact on fundraising. The acrimony underscores how in a state where the Republican Party has been in power for so long, the political feuds are no longer with Democrats but with each other."Susie was a key player in 2016," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and his former campaign manager. "We leaned on her to help us win Florida. She remains well-liked and well-respected by the president, who has made clear he wants to 'get the band back together.' In addition to that, she was chief of staff, or played a leadership role, for two former mayors of Jacksonville."Brian Ballard, the top Republican lobbyist in Florida and one of the party's major fundraisers, said DeSantis had been supportive of the convention. "We have not asked him to take time to make fundraising calls," he said. "It wouldn't be appropriate, with all the health issues, to distract from what he's working on. Anyone who tries to lay some implications on that is absolutely not aware of the facts."The feud between DeSantis and Wiles first erupted in September, after a leaked internal memo from the governor's political committee suggested he could elevate his profile and raise funds for himself by charging lobbyists for access, including $25,000 for a round of golf with him. DeSantis' tight inner circle blamed the leak on Wiles, who led the committee, an accusation people close to Wiles considered unfounded and unfair.The governor's two closest advisers -- his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his chief of staff, Shane Strum -- had already soured on Wiles earlier in 2019. Too many operatives for the state's Republican Party were seen as Wiles loyalists. The DeSantis camp helped push out the party's executive director and install Peter O'Rourke, Trump's former Veterans Affairs secretary. (O'Rourke resigned from the party post in March.)After the leaked memo, DeSantis, who in his three terms in Congress was known for cycling through political staff members, cut ties with Wiles and forced her ouster from the Trump campaign, to the alarm of many Florida Republicans who believed she provided proven political chops in the state. Wiles swooped in to turn around DeSantis' 2018 campaign after his previous team made a series of early mistakes. She was also executive director of the governor's transition.Wiles said last fall that she was stepping away from her political roles and lobbying work with Ballard Partners to deal with health issues. Several Republicans predicted at the time that she would return if Trump's poll numbers in Florida began to flag. The campaign announced her return on Twitter last week.DeSantis pitched Florida hard as an alternative convention host when the state appeared to have the virus under control in May and early June. He had suggested Orlando or Miami as host cities. But Orlando had the problem of an oppositional local mayor, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County. Demings, a Democrat, is the husband of Rep. Val Demings, who is being vetted by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential running mate. Miami has been the center of the state's coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, Jacksonville had a supportive Republican mayor and an easy permitting structure in a city that owns almost all of its own facilities. For people involved in the convention planning -- everyone except DeSantis -- the fact that it was Wiles' hometown was also a plus, because she would be available to help the city make the convention arrangements.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his acts

Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his actsThe sudden death of Seoul’s mayor, reportedly implicated in a sexual harassment complaint, has prompted an outpouring of public sympathy even as it has raised questions about a man who built his career as a reform-minded politician and self-described feminist. Park Won-soon was found dead on a wooded hill in northern Seoul early Friday, about seven hours after his daughter reported to police he had left her a “will-like” verbal message and then left their home. Authorities launched a massive search for the 64-year-old Park before rescue dogs found his body.


The Best Smart Technology for Your Socially Distanced Summer
Ghislaine Maxwell says she hadn't been in contact with Jeffrey Epstein for more than 10 years before his death

Ghislaine Maxwell says she hadn't been in contact with Jeffrey Epstein for more than 10 years before his deathLawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell filed court documents on Friday asking her released on bail as she awaits trial amid the coronavirus pandemic.


'This is not the summer for a spontaneous road trip': The case for canceling your vacation

'This is not the summer for a spontaneous road trip': The case for canceling your vacationVacationing during a pandemic is an act of pure selfishness. It doesn't just endanger your life. It could spread COVID-19 and prolong the situation.


Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigator

Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigatorMexico is to seek the arrest and extradition from Canada of the former chief investigator in the murky disappearance of 43 students in 2014, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Friday. Tomas Zeron, who was head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, is in Canada and work is underway to extradite him, the minister said. "There is going to be no impunity, part of our function at the ministry of foreign affairs is to guarantee that, when there are cases of this nature, extradition occurs," Ebrard said.


An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in 'almost every organ' of coronavirus patients' autopsies

An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in 'almost every organ' of coronavirus patients' autopsiesWhen the virus was first discovered, doctors thought COVID-19 was a respiratory disease, but they've since learned it can also cause blood clots.


As COVID crisis worsens, Miami-Dade scaling back $70M program for delivering senior meals

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Coronavirus: How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19

Coronavirus: How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19What has been the strategy behind New Zealand's Covid-19 success?


Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’

Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’Sam Newby was excited at first when the Republican National Convention decided to head to his city. But the Republican vice president of the Jacksonville City Council, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in March, has grown more worried as the late August convention fast approaches. There weren’t many cases in the area when the move was first announced, Newby said, but he warned that “now it's really starting to spike.”   “In a normal situation, I would be glad for the RNC to come here, I would be the first one to be there,” Newby said.“But with the spike of it, and I know what it can do, that's why I'm concerned about it coming to Jacksonville.” Trump’s drive for a Jacksonville convention is on a collision course with the rampant spread of the coronavirus in Florida. The public health situation in  the state has continued to grow worse in recent weeks, setting up the tense spectacle of the GOP holding its marquee event next month in a state that has become an epicenter of a resurgent COVID-19. “At this point, with the numbers going up, it's going to really be tough,” Newby warned in an interview. Only adding to the tension is that Trump likely needs to win Florida if he hopes to get a second term in the White House. And Newby isn’t alone in his concerns. “I don't want to see another Tulsa here," said Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who serves as president of the Jacksonville City Council, referring to the president’s June rally. In Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, new cases in the county rose last week according to state health department data. And Leo Alonso, an emergency medicine doctor in Jacksonville, described an alarming scene in the city describing the spread of the coronavirus as dramatic in recent weeks. He’s now worried that Duval County is becoming a hot spot. “This is really a bad time to be talking about having a convention here,” said Alonso, a member of the Committee to Protect Medicare. As Florida’s coronavirus situation continues to concern officials in the state, some prominent Republican party elders have made clear that they won’t be heading to see the president’s in-person nomination speech. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t head to the convention due to the coronavirus, according to The Des Moines Register.  And four other GOP senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the convention according to The Washington Post. Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNCTrump and the GOP decided to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declined to promise him a packed arena due to continued concerns over COVID-19 infections in the state. After states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia moved to try and bring the convention to their states, Jacksonville won out. Having both a GOP governor in Ron DeSantis and a Republican mayor in the city gave the party a buffer from the fraught political tensions that emerged during the pandemic over the size of the convention itself when it was scheduled to be held in North Carolina. But following the state’s spike in cases Trump hedged on his push in a recent television interview, according to The Miami Herald, saying “we’re very flexible,” when it comes how the Jacksonville convention will turn out. Democrats have already moved for a downsized convention for former Vice President Joe Biden’s nomination, providing a stark contrast to the uncertainty surrounding what Trump’s mega-event will look like late next month. Plans now call for the president’s speech to be held late next month at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, according to the party’s announcement of the moved event. The city’s host committee told reporters this week that "everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” according to CNN. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment this week asking how many people they expect to attend the Jacksonville portion of the convention. But the party did say in a statement that they are “committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time.” “The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,”  RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in the statement. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.” In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council president, lamented the lack of details he knew about the convention. That feeling was also backed by the council’s GOP vice president, who said council members haven’t gotten much information. “They're not communicating with us about what they're doing. And I don't think it's particularly something that they're hiding. I think it's more that they don't know themselves what the RNC is doing,” Hazouri said. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry emphasized to reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the convention is “many many weeks away.” He also pointed to a statewide executive order by Florida’s GOP governor that he said means "facilities cannot participate in anything over 50 percent capacity." “We are acting appropriately right now,” Curry said. “We'll act appropriately at that time.” Later on in that same briefing, the mayor’s chief of staff downplayed the city council’s involvement in the upcoming convention. The city also put in place last week a “mandatory mask requirement,” that applies to both indoor and public locations, according to the announcement.  Opposition to the convention has already become clear, with News4Jax reporting earlier this week that a large group of African-American pastors had signed on to a letter calling on the city to “reconsider” holding the RNC. Even though the RNC’s marquee event will no longer be held in Charlotte, Mark Brody, North Carolina’s national GOP committeeman said he isn’t that concerned about heading to Jacksonville next month to see the president’s speech. And while the president’s June Tulsa rally deeply troubled some officials, Brody said he is still expecting the president’s nomination speech to be a major event. He predicted that “we’re going to fill the stadium,” even though he doubted that people who are seriously at risk would turn out for the event. “This is a historic one-time event,” Brody said. “I think people are going to be able to take that chance.” 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.


Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New Hampshire

Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New HampshireHis campaign, already wary of another low turnout, blamed the decision on an impending tropical storm.


Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV network

Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV networkPhilippine lawmakers voted Friday to reject the license renewal of the country’s largest TV network, shutting down a major news provider that had been repeatedly threatened by the president over its critical coverage. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Franchises voted 70-11 to reject a new 25-year license for ABS-CBN Corp. The National Telecommunications Commission had ordered the broadcaster to shut down in May after its old franchise expired. It halted broadcasting then, but the vote takes it off the air permanently.


An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violation

An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violationThe Austin Police Department defended the officer's conduct, saying he followed the department's regulations and that no female officer was available.


Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’

Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany weighs in on the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic at a briefing.


UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aidThe UN Security Council failed to find a consensus on prolonging cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria on Friday after Russia and China vetoed an extension and members rejected a counter proposal by Moscow. Without an agreement, authorization for the transport of aid to war-torn Syria, which has existed since 2014, expired Friday night.


Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancy

Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancyTwo separate engineering firms hired to determine the cause of the fires were unable to really find a pattern.


Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19

Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19Workers at Caesars Palace, Paris, Flamingo, Harrah's and Nobu have until July 17 to get tested. And if they can be fired if they don't wear masks.


U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000In Texas, another hot zone, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalizations through masks and social distancing. The Walt Disney Co said the theme parks in Orlando would open on Saturday to a limited number of guests who along with employees would be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. Disney's chief medical officer said earlier this week she believed the rules would allow guests to visit the park safely.


Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslims

Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of MuslimsChina is accused of persecuting Uighur Muslims, including by locking them up in detention camps.


Outdoor Dinging Decor That's Sure to Bring Joy to Any Table 
Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ information

Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ informationDr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has not briefed President Donald Trump in the past two months about the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge in parts of the US.Early on in the pandemic, the president would meet with Dr Fauci and the White House Coronavirus Task Force multiple times per week.


Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang members

Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang membersAccording to a 59-count criminal complaint, three officers were charged with conspiracy, filing false reports, and prepping fraudulent documents for court.


A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episode

A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episodeThe 41-year-old told his wife he'd had sex with other men, and then started touching hospital staff and asking inappropriate questions.


Fourth day of virus protests in Serbia

Fourth day of virus protests in SerbiaThe protests were held as the Balkan nation announced a record daily death toll from COVID-19. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said earlier Friday the Balkan state recorded 18 fatalities and 386 new cases over 24 hours in what she described as a "dramatic increase". At the same time, Brnabic condemned as "irresponsible" protests held in Belgrade and other cities on Thursday, after demonstrations in the capital on the previous two days had spilled over into violence.


Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreak

Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreakKazakhstan health officials on Friday dismissed a Chinese report that the Central Asian country is facing an outbreak of pneumonia that is more deadly than coronavirus. The Kazakh denial follows a notice issued Thursday by the Chinese embassy that warned its citizens about an outbreak of pneumonia in the ex-Soviet nation that is producing a death rate higher than that from COVID-19-induced pneumonia. “This information doesn't conform to reality,” Kazakhstan's Health Ministry said.


Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.

Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.In Kushner's confident Fox & Friends appearance back in April, he also proclaimed the US was "on the other side of the medical aspect" of the virus.


Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow Republican

Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow RepublicanPro-Trump internet personality Omar Navarro emerged from a six-month stint in jail on a stalking charge last month, and immediately registered to run for Congress. Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has registered to run for her seat again in 2022—assuming, perhaps logically, that Waters will once again prevail in her re-election request this November. But Navarro, who had nearly $50,000 in his campaign bank account as of March 31 even while he served his jail term, is not going to wait for those results before getting involved. He told The Daily Beast that he’s going to send out mailers this election cycle denouncing Joe Collins, the Republican nominee currently running against Waters.“Hey, I don’t agree with him,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “I believe Maxine Waters is better than him.”Asked for comment on Navarro’s sour-grapes scheme to ruin Collins’s already slim chances of winning this fall, Collins responded  by accusing Navarro of having “daddy issues” without elaborating. "Omar Navarro is a joke,” Collins told The Daily Beast. “He has the mentality of a four year old child throwing a temper tantrum and the testicular fortitude of a mouse.” A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking ChargesThe scrapping between Collins and Navarro for the chance to lose to Waters highlights the odd incentives facing Republican challengers taking on famous incumbents in heavily Democratic districts. Running against Waters as a Republican would be a poor choice for anyone who actually wants to win. Indeed, Navarro has tried twice already, losing by more than 50 percentage points in 2016 and 2018. But for a GOPer interested in raising millions off of Waters’s notoriety as a devoted Trump foe, and increasing his profile in the pro-Trump mediasphere, it works out great. Navarro raked in donations from low-dollar contributors and saw his stature on the online Trump right explode thanks to his quixotic earlier campaigns. Even the candidates themselves acknowledge the money that’s at stake for whoever wins the right to face off against Waters. “The main reason Navarro is upset is because he's used to living off of his campaign donations and now he's facing the realization that, after being beaten by a real candidate with a shot at winning, he has to find a real job,” Collins said in his email. For Navarro, that time in the bright lights of online Trumpy fame came to a halt when he was arrested in December in San Francisco after stalking ex-girlfriend and fellow Republican personality DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, who herself was running a doomed campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Navarro eventually pleaded guilty to a stalking charge, and was sentenced to six months in San Francisco’s jail, where he claims to have lost 30 pounds. Even while imprisoned in San Francisco, Navarro kept up his political profile. And he stayed on the ballot, losing the March Republican primary to Collins by a mere 250 votes—a 0.3 percent difference in the vote total. Undeterred by that loss, Navarro has tried to recast himself since being released from jail as the latest victim of deep-state prosecutors. While other Trump supporters who faced criminal charges were involved in international intrigue, however, Navarro has been faced with claiming that he was arrested on a local stalking charge because of some secret government scheme. “Full disclosure with you guys: in the past six months, yes, I have been in a county jail,” Navarro told his more than 250,000 Twitter followers after being released from jail. Despite overwhelming evidence that Navarro violated Tesoriero’s restraining order against him, including the fact that Navarro bashed Tesoriero to The Daily Beast in apparent violation of the order, Navarro claims that he only pleaded guilty because he would have become a “political prisoner” if he hadn’t.“I wouldn’t have been judged by a jury of my peers, I would’ve been judged by a bunch of liberals, and they would have kept me locked up in there as a political prisoner,” Navarro said in his Twitter video. “And that’s not OK.” While it might seem strange for the recently imprisoned Navarro to be confident he can win the 2022 primary to challenge Waters, he is aided by the fact that Collins has a bizarre history of his own.A Navy veteran, Collins has continuously switched parties since 2016, cycling between being a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Green Party, and a member of the “Millennial Political Party.” Collins has also filed a lawsuit over child support payments that is riddled with language echoing the nonsense legal language used by members of the far-right sovereign citizen movement. At one point in his lawsuit, in an apparent attempt to deploy a fringe legal theory, Collins claimed that his bodily fluids were worth $15 million—a bizarre detail Navarro has seized on in his campaign to bring down his rival.   “You’re the guy that’s gonna take down Maxine Waters?” Navarro said in a video taunting Collins that he released in late June. “I’m sorry, but you’re not gonna do that. And by the way, your bodily fluids are not worth $15 million.” 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.


Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for life

Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for lifeAn opposition governor was detained and several activists had their homes raided by the police on Thursday as Russia’s latest crackdown on dissent gathers momentum. The flurry of arrests and criminal inquiries follow last week’s vote in which nearly 78 percent endorsed constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay as president at least until 2036 when he turns 83. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East who beat a Kremlin candidate at the 2018 election, was arrested by camouflaged agents of Russia’s top investigative body on Thursday morning and put on a plane to Moscow. The popular governor whose landslide win at the polls embarrassed the pro-Kremlin party, is accused of organising two contract killings as well as an attempted murder 15 years ago, according to the Investigative Committee, Russia's main federal investigating authority. Mr Furgal has not been charged with any crime. An unnamed source claiming to be linked to Mr Furgal says he has denied the allegations. Mr Furgal had been in Russian parliament for more than a decade before he won the Khabarovsk election in 2018, which has raised questions about the timing of the charges brought against him.


Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrm

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César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

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Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.

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A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't help

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'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

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Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand results

Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand resultsBrazil's government announced on Thursday it planned to ban setting fires in the Amazon for 120 days, in a meeting with global investors to address their rising concerns over destruction of the rainforest. The decree banning fires, set to be issued next week, repeats a similar temporary ban instituted last year when forest fires surged, provoking outcry that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the world's largest rainforest. Brazil's government, led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, had arranged Thursday's video conference in response to a letter sent by 29 global firms demanding the government stop environmental destruction that has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office at the start of last year.


Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-ahead

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Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in Tehran

Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in TehranIranian state media reported a blast in western Tehran early Friday, the latest in a string of mysterious incidents to shake the country in recent weeks. However, a senior official in that part of the city later denied there had been an explosion. State broadcaster IRIB said power was cut in several western suburbs near where online reports said an explosion occurred. It gave no further information about the cause of the blast or whether there were casualties. The governor of Qod city, Leila Vaseghi, told semi-official Fars news agency there had been no explosion but acknowledged a power cut that lasted about five minutes. It was not immediately clear if the reported incident had taken place in Qod or in a different area of western Tehran, and residents contacted by Reuters in other parts of the city said they had heard no explosion. There are reportedly several military facilities in the area which could have been the target of sabotage. A series of fires and blasts have been reported near Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent weeks. Iranian officials have said many were caused by industrial accidents. A bright flash lit up the night sky over Tehran early on June 26, apparently coming from near the near Parchin military site. Fars news agency later said the fire was caused by "an industrial gas tank explosion" near a facility belonging to the defence ministry. A defence ministry spokesman told state TV that the fire was quickly controlled and there were no casualties. But after a similar unexplained fire at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Isfahan province on July 2, officials were forced to admit there had been significant damage to the country’s primary uranium enrichment facility. A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council of Iran said the “cause of the accident” at the centrifuge assembly plant had been identified, saying more information would be released at a later date “due to security considerations”. The New York Times reported a Middle Eastern intelligence official and an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander saying the Natanz incident was caused by an explosive. The head of Israeli intelligence, Yossi Cohen, was later accused of leaking information that Mossad planted a bomb that caused the damage. On Friday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran would retaliate if it were shown an international sabotage operation had caused the explosion in Natanz. “It is still too early to make any judgment on the main cause of the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are probing into every detail of the incident,” Fars reported him as saying.


The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on Amazon

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Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden

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Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing man

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Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimi

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Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trail

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Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removal

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Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people

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Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'

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No regrets: wounded Hong Kong police vow to keep enforcing law

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'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns

'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returnsThe pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s backIn West Virginia, they are bracing for the second wave.The epidemic that hit the Appalachian state harder than any other in the US finally looked to be in retreat. Now it’s advancing again. Not coronavirus but opioid overdoses, with one scourge driving a resurgence of the other.Covid-19 has claimed 93 lives in West Virginia over the past three months. That is only a fraction of those killed by drug overdoses, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths in the state in 2018 alone, mostly from opioids but also methamphetamine (also known as meth).That year was better than the one before as the Appalachian state appeared to turn the tide on an epidemic that has ravaged the region for two decades, destroying lives, tearing apart families and dragging down local economies.Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.“Once the tsunami of Covid-19 finally recedes, we’re going to be left with the social conditions that enabled the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place, and those are not going to go away.”To Brumage and others, coronavirus has also shown what can happen when the government takes a public health emergency seriously, unlike the opioid epidemic, which was largely ignored even as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands.The American Medical Association said it was “greatly concerned” at reported increases in opioid overdoses in more than 30 states although it will be months before hard data is available.> Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection> > Dr Mike BrumagePublic health officials from Kentucky to Florida, Texas and Colorado have recorded surges in opioid deaths as the economic and social anxieties created by the Covid-19 pandemic prove fertile ground for addiction. In addition, Brumage said significant numbers of people have fallen out of treatment programmes as support networks have been yanked away by social distancing orders.“I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.“Many of the people who were using the programme either didn’t have broadband or they didn’t have cellphone service, especially those who were homeless. They just fell out of the programme,” he said.The resurgence was not unforeseen. In March, as Covid-19 escalated, Donald Trump warned about the human toll beyond lives claimed by the virus. “You’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction. You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before. And people are going to be dying all over the place from drug addiction,” he said.Brumage and others who spoke to the Guardian were at pains to say they believed the scale of the government’s response to Covid-19 is necessary. But they saw the mobilisation of financial resources and political will to cope with the virus in stark contrast to the response of successive administrations to the opioid epidemic.Emily Walden lost her son to an opioid overdose and now heads Fed Up!, a group campaigning to reduce the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing levels.“Congress immediately acted with coronavirus to help those that lost their jobs, to make sure that people were taken care of and it was addressed properly,” she said. “Look at the difference with the opioid epidemic, which has largely been ignored by our federal government for 20 years.”While the US government has thrown $6tn at coronavirus, the Trump administration dedicated just $6bn to directly dealing with opioid addiction over his first two years in office even though about the same number of people died of drug overdoses in that period as have now been lost to Covid-19.Brumage said federal health institutions have shifted their focus to coronavirus, including freezing a $1bn research project to find less addictive pain treatments.> You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous> > Dr Mike Brumage“It’s robbed the oxygen out of the room and made it the sole focus of what’s happening,” said Brumage. “There’s also a fatigue about the opioid crisis. You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous, but it’s not happening at the same speed and scale as the coronavirus is having right now.” Brumage attributes the difference in response in part to attitudes toward drug addiction.“The difference between getting Covid and dying of an overdose is stigma around drug use. This has been ingrained across the United States – that people using drugs are somehow seen as morally deficient and so it becomes easier then to other and alienate those people,” he said.Walden does not accept that explanation. Like many whose families have been devastated by opioids, she sees a personal and public health catastrophe perpetuated by the financial and political power of the pharmaceutical industry to drive the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing rates which were a major factor in driving the epidemic.“This comes down to lobbyists and money. People say it’s stigma and it’s not. There is stigma but it’s about profits and greed,” she said.Dr Raeford Brown, a former chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s opioid advisory committee, is a longstanding critic of drug industry influence over opioid medical policy and the government’s response to the epidemic. He sees a parallel with coronavirus with US states lifting strong social distancing orders too early under corporate pressure.“The United States is not good at doing public health,” he said. “It failed the test with opioids and it failed the test with viral pandemics. But coronavirus and pandemics, and the things like the opioid crisis, are much more likely to get us than the Russians or the Chinese are.”


Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'

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Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker

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DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump Convention

DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump ConventionWASHINGTON -- When President Donald Trump first threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida started campaigning to bring the event to his state.But now, as convention planners in Jacksonville, Florida, seek to raise tens of millions of dollars on an almost impossibly rushed time frame, and in the middle of a raging pandemic, the governor is hindering those efforts, interviews show.DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fundraiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions.Wiles is a veteran Republican operative who led Trump's Florida team in 2016 and who ran DeSantis' 2018 campaign for governor. DeSantis' relationship with Wiles soured over his suspicion that she had leaked embarrassing information.Wiles, who lives in Jacksonville, rejoined the Trump campaign as an unpaid adviser last week, as the president's poll numbers in Florida, the country's biggest battleground state, have slipped and as he has sought to recreate his winning team from four years ago.Barker, the top DeSantis fundraiser, has been explicit with donors in Florida that the governor will not be helpful with rounding up money for the convention because of the involvement of Wiles, according to the people familiar with the conversations. In a phone call with Trump about whether to involve Wiles in the convention planning, DeSantis also told the president that she was overrated as an operative and that she had little to do with Trump's 2016 victory in the state, a person familiar with the discussion said. Trump did not respond, and changed the subject.Wiles declined to comment.In an interview Wednesday, Barker denied any attempt to undercut the convention, or to encourage people to withhold support. "We are encouraging all people to participate and we hope it's a success for the president," Barker said. "We just hope everything is a success and want it to be, however they want to structure things and put things together."The threat of the governor's working to undermine convention fundraising at first caused alarm among members of the Jacksonville host committee, who described efforts to raise money as particularly challenging because of the uncertainty caused by a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida Republicans are now under pressure to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next five weeks to help finance the three-day convention.In Florida, and in most states, the governor is the de facto head of the party and its fundraising efforts. The governor's threat to hold up resources in his own state was seen by Republican officials as a stunning act of political pettiness by DeSantis, who had campaigned to bring the convention to Florida, aiming to celebrate a president whose backing elevated him to his current position.Trump's endorsement of DeSantis, then a congressman and a fixture on Fox News, catapulted him to victory in the 2018 Republican primary. The president, who will travel to Florida for a fundraiser Friday, also forcefully backed DeSantis in the general election in which he scored a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum.People involved in the fundraising process said that the money for the convention was mostly coming from national donors, not donors from Florida, and that DeSantis' antipathy was having no noticeable impact on fundraising. The acrimony underscores how in a state where the Republican Party has been in power for so long, the political feuds are no longer with Democrats but with each other."Susie was a key player in 2016," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and his former campaign manager. "We leaned on her to help us win Florida. She remains well-liked and well-respected by the president, who has made clear he wants to 'get the band back together.' In addition to that, she was chief of staff, or played a leadership role, for two former mayors of Jacksonville."Brian Ballard, the top Republican lobbyist in Florida and one of the party's major fundraisers, said DeSantis had been supportive of the convention. "We have not asked him to take time to make fundraising calls," he said. "It wouldn't be appropriate, with all the health issues, to distract from what he's working on. Anyone who tries to lay some implications on that is absolutely not aware of the facts."The feud between DeSantis and Wiles first erupted in September, after a leaked internal memo from the governor's political committee suggested he could elevate his profile and raise funds for himself by charging lobbyists for access, including $25,000 for a round of golf with him. DeSantis' tight inner circle blamed the leak on Wiles, who led the committee, an accusation people close to Wiles considered unfounded and unfair.The governor's two closest advisers -- his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his chief of staff, Shane Strum -- had already soured on Wiles earlier in 2019. Too many operatives for the state's Republican Party were seen as Wiles loyalists. The DeSantis camp helped push out the party's executive director and install Peter O'Rourke, Trump's former Veterans Affairs secretary. (O'Rourke resigned from the party post in March.)After the leaked memo, DeSantis, who in his three terms in Congress was known for cycling through political staff members, cut ties with Wiles and forced her ouster from the Trump campaign, to the alarm of many Florida Republicans who believed she provided proven political chops in the state. Wiles swooped in to turn around DeSantis' 2018 campaign after his previous team made a series of early mistakes. She was also executive director of the governor's transition.Wiles said last fall that she was stepping away from her political roles and lobbying work with Ballard Partners to deal with health issues. Several Republicans predicted at the time that she would return if Trump's poll numbers in Florida began to flag. The campaign announced her return on Twitter last week.DeSantis pitched Florida hard as an alternative convention host when the state appeared to have the virus under control in May and early June. He had suggested Orlando or Miami as host cities. But Orlando had the problem of an oppositional local mayor, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County. Demings, a Democrat, is the husband of Rep. Val Demings, who is being vetted by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential running mate. Miami has been the center of the state's coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, Jacksonville had a supportive Republican mayor and an easy permitting structure in a city that owns almost all of its own facilities. For people involved in the convention planning -- everyone except DeSantis -- the fact that it was Wiles' hometown was also a plus, because she would be available to help the city make the convention arrangements.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his acts

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Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigator

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Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’

Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’Sam Newby was excited at first when the Republican National Convention decided to head to his city. But the Republican vice president of the Jacksonville City Council, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in March, has grown more worried as the late August convention fast approaches. There weren’t many cases in the area when the move was first announced, Newby said, but he warned that “now it's really starting to spike.”   “In a normal situation, I would be glad for the RNC to come here, I would be the first one to be there,” Newby said.“But with the spike of it, and I know what it can do, that's why I'm concerned about it coming to Jacksonville.” Trump’s drive for a Jacksonville convention is on a collision course with the rampant spread of the coronavirus in Florida. The public health situation in  the state has continued to grow worse in recent weeks, setting up the tense spectacle of the GOP holding its marquee event next month in a state that has become an epicenter of a resurgent COVID-19. “At this point, with the numbers going up, it's going to really be tough,” Newby warned in an interview. Only adding to the tension is that Trump likely needs to win Florida if he hopes to get a second term in the White House. And Newby isn’t alone in his concerns. “I don't want to see another Tulsa here," said Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who serves as president of the Jacksonville City Council, referring to the president’s June rally. In Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, new cases in the county rose last week according to state health department data. And Leo Alonso, an emergency medicine doctor in Jacksonville, described an alarming scene in the city describing the spread of the coronavirus as dramatic in recent weeks. He’s now worried that Duval County is becoming a hot spot. “This is really a bad time to be talking about having a convention here,” said Alonso, a member of the Committee to Protect Medicare. As Florida’s coronavirus situation continues to concern officials in the state, some prominent Republican party elders have made clear that they won’t be heading to see the president’s in-person nomination speech. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t head to the convention due to the coronavirus, according to The Des Moines Register.  And four other GOP senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the convention according to The Washington Post. Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNCTrump and the GOP decided to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declined to promise him a packed arena due to continued concerns over COVID-19 infections in the state. After states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia moved to try and bring the convention to their states, Jacksonville won out. Having both a GOP governor in Ron DeSantis and a Republican mayor in the city gave the party a buffer from the fraught political tensions that emerged during the pandemic over the size of the convention itself when it was scheduled to be held in North Carolina. But following the state’s spike in cases Trump hedged on his push in a recent television interview, according to The Miami Herald, saying “we’re very flexible,” when it comes how the Jacksonville convention will turn out. Democrats have already moved for a downsized convention for former Vice President Joe Biden’s nomination, providing a stark contrast to the uncertainty surrounding what Trump’s mega-event will look like late next month. Plans now call for the president’s speech to be held late next month at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, according to the party’s announcement of the moved event. The city’s host committee told reporters this week that "everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” according to CNN. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment this week asking how many people they expect to attend the Jacksonville portion of the convention. But the party did say in a statement that they are “committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time.” “The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,”  RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in the statement. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.” In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council president, lamented the lack of details he knew about the convention. That feeling was also backed by the council’s GOP vice president, who said council members haven’t gotten much information. “They're not communicating with us about what they're doing. And I don't think it's particularly something that they're hiding. I think it's more that they don't know themselves what the RNC is doing,” Hazouri said. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry emphasized to reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the convention is “many many weeks away.” He also pointed to a statewide executive order by Florida’s GOP governor that he said means "facilities cannot participate in anything over 50 percent capacity." “We are acting appropriately right now,” Curry said. “We'll act appropriately at that time.” Later on in that same briefing, the mayor’s chief of staff downplayed the city council’s involvement in the upcoming convention. The city also put in place last week a “mandatory mask requirement,” that applies to both indoor and public locations, according to the announcement.  Opposition to the convention has already become clear, with News4Jax reporting earlier this week that a large group of African-American pastors had signed on to a letter calling on the city to “reconsider” holding the RNC. Even though the RNC’s marquee event will no longer be held in Charlotte, Mark Brody, North Carolina’s national GOP committeeman said he isn’t that concerned about heading to Jacksonville next month to see the president’s speech. And while the president’s June Tulsa rally deeply troubled some officials, Brody said he is still expecting the president’s nomination speech to be a major event. He predicted that “we’re going to fill the stadium,” even though he doubted that people who are seriously at risk would turn out for the event. “This is a historic one-time event,” Brody said. “I think people are going to be able to take that chance.” 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.


Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New Hampshire

Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New HampshireHis campaign, already wary of another low turnout, blamed the decision on an impending tropical storm.


Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV network

Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV networkPhilippine lawmakers voted Friday to reject the license renewal of the country’s largest TV network, shutting down a major news provider that had been repeatedly threatened by the president over its critical coverage. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Franchises voted 70-11 to reject a new 25-year license for ABS-CBN Corp. The National Telecommunications Commission had ordered the broadcaster to shut down in May after its old franchise expired. It halted broadcasting then, but the vote takes it off the air permanently.


An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violation

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Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’

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UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

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Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancy

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Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19

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U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000In Texas, another hot zone, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalizations through masks and social distancing. The Walt Disney Co said the theme parks in Orlando would open on Saturday to a limited number of guests who along with employees would be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. Disney's chief medical officer said earlier this week she believed the rules would allow guests to visit the park safely.


Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslims

Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of MuslimsChina is accused of persecuting Uighur Muslims, including by locking them up in detention camps.


Outdoor Dinging Decor That's Sure to Bring Joy to Any Table 
Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ information

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Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang members

Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang membersAccording to a 59-count criminal complaint, three officers were charged with conspiracy, filing false reports, and prepping fraudulent documents for court.


A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episode

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Fourth day of virus protests in Serbia

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Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreak

Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreakKazakhstan health officials on Friday dismissed a Chinese report that the Central Asian country is facing an outbreak of pneumonia that is more deadly than coronavirus. The Kazakh denial follows a notice issued Thursday by the Chinese embassy that warned its citizens about an outbreak of pneumonia in the ex-Soviet nation that is producing a death rate higher than that from COVID-19-induced pneumonia. “This information doesn't conform to reality,” Kazakhstan's Health Ministry said.


Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.

Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.In Kushner's confident Fox & Friends appearance back in April, he also proclaimed the US was "on the other side of the medical aspect" of the virus.


Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow Republican

Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow RepublicanPro-Trump internet personality Omar Navarro emerged from a six-month stint in jail on a stalking charge last month, and immediately registered to run for Congress. Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has registered to run for her seat again in 2022—assuming, perhaps logically, that Waters will once again prevail in her re-election request this November. But Navarro, who had nearly $50,000 in his campaign bank account as of March 31 even while he served his jail term, is not going to wait for those results before getting involved. He told The Daily Beast that he’s going to send out mailers this election cycle denouncing Joe Collins, the Republican nominee currently running against Waters.“Hey, I don’t agree with him,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “I believe Maxine Waters is better than him.”Asked for comment on Navarro’s sour-grapes scheme to ruin Collins’s already slim chances of winning this fall, Collins responded  by accusing Navarro of having “daddy issues” without elaborating. "Omar Navarro is a joke,” Collins told The Daily Beast. “He has the mentality of a four year old child throwing a temper tantrum and the testicular fortitude of a mouse.” A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking ChargesThe scrapping between Collins and Navarro for the chance to lose to Waters highlights the odd incentives facing Republican challengers taking on famous incumbents in heavily Democratic districts. Running against Waters as a Republican would be a poor choice for anyone who actually wants to win. Indeed, Navarro has tried twice already, losing by more than 50 percentage points in 2016 and 2018. But for a GOPer interested in raising millions off of Waters’s notoriety as a devoted Trump foe, and increasing his profile in the pro-Trump mediasphere, it works out great. Navarro raked in donations from low-dollar contributors and saw his stature on the online Trump right explode thanks to his quixotic earlier campaigns. Even the candidates themselves acknowledge the money that’s at stake for whoever wins the right to face off against Waters. “The main reason Navarro is upset is because he's used to living off of his campaign donations and now he's facing the realization that, after being beaten by a real candidate with a shot at winning, he has to find a real job,” Collins said in his email. For Navarro, that time in the bright lights of online Trumpy fame came to a halt when he was arrested in December in San Francisco after stalking ex-girlfriend and fellow Republican personality DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, who herself was running a doomed campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Navarro eventually pleaded guilty to a stalking charge, and was sentenced to six months in San Francisco’s jail, where he claims to have lost 30 pounds. Even while imprisoned in San Francisco, Navarro kept up his political profile. And he stayed on the ballot, losing the March Republican primary to Collins by a mere 250 votes—a 0.3 percent difference in the vote total. Undeterred by that loss, Navarro has tried to recast himself since being released from jail as the latest victim of deep-state prosecutors. While other Trump supporters who faced criminal charges were involved in international intrigue, however, Navarro has been faced with claiming that he was arrested on a local stalking charge because of some secret government scheme. “Full disclosure with you guys: in the past six months, yes, I have been in a county jail,” Navarro told his more than 250,000 Twitter followers after being released from jail. Despite overwhelming evidence that Navarro violated Tesoriero’s restraining order against him, including the fact that Navarro bashed Tesoriero to The Daily Beast in apparent violation of the order, Navarro claims that he only pleaded guilty because he would have become a “political prisoner” if he hadn’t.“I wouldn’t have been judged by a jury of my peers, I would’ve been judged by a bunch of liberals, and they would have kept me locked up in there as a political prisoner,” Navarro said in his Twitter video. “And that’s not OK.” While it might seem strange for the recently imprisoned Navarro to be confident he can win the 2022 primary to challenge Waters, he is aided by the fact that Collins has a bizarre history of his own.A Navy veteran, Collins has continuously switched parties since 2016, cycling between being a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Green Party, and a member of the “Millennial Political Party.” Collins has also filed a lawsuit over child support payments that is riddled with language echoing the nonsense legal language used by members of the far-right sovereign citizen movement. At one point in his lawsuit, in an apparent attempt to deploy a fringe legal theory, Collins claimed that his bodily fluids were worth $15 million—a bizarre detail Navarro has seized on in his campaign to bring down his rival.   “You’re the guy that’s gonna take down Maxine Waters?” Navarro said in a video taunting Collins that he released in late June. “I’m sorry, but you’re not gonna do that. And by the way, your bodily fluids are not worth $15 million.” 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.


Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for life

Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for lifeAn opposition governor was detained and several activists had their homes raided by the police on Thursday as Russia’s latest crackdown on dissent gathers momentum. The flurry of arrests and criminal inquiries follow last week’s vote in which nearly 78 percent endorsed constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay as president at least until 2036 when he turns 83. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East who beat a Kremlin candidate at the 2018 election, was arrested by camouflaged agents of Russia’s top investigative body on Thursday morning and put on a plane to Moscow. The popular governor whose landslide win at the polls embarrassed the pro-Kremlin party, is accused of organising two contract killings as well as an attempted murder 15 years ago, according to the Investigative Committee, Russia's main federal investigating authority. Mr Furgal has not been charged with any crime. An unnamed source claiming to be linked to Mr Furgal says he has denied the allegations. Mr Furgal had been in Russian parliament for more than a decade before he won the Khabarovsk election in 2018, which has raised questions about the timing of the charges brought against him.


Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrm

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César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

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Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.

Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.Communities of color have endured the weight of COVID-19, the recession and social unrest. They’re also bearing the brunt of a surge in gun violence.


A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't help

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'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

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The Best Beach Towels That Aren’t Totally Boring
Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand results

Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand resultsBrazil's government announced on Thursday it planned to ban setting fires in the Amazon for 120 days, in a meeting with global investors to address their rising concerns over destruction of the rainforest. The decree banning fires, set to be issued next week, repeats a similar temporary ban instituted last year when forest fires surged, provoking outcry that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the world's largest rainforest. Brazil's government, led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, had arranged Thursday's video conference in response to a letter sent by 29 global firms demanding the government stop environmental destruction that has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office at the start of last year.


Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-ahead

Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-aheadTexas has executed its first death row inmate since it first confirmed a case of coronavirus after a Supreme Court ruling allowed his execution to go ahead.Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, was sentenced to death in 1993 for a robbery and murder in which he and his girlfriend tried to rob 82-year-old Carl Cole of his truck using a .45-calibre gun. Mr Wardlow fired the gun in a struggle, and Cole was killed; the couple were arrested two days later.


Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in Tehran

Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in TehranIranian state media reported a blast in western Tehran early Friday, the latest in a string of mysterious incidents to shake the country in recent weeks. However, a senior official in that part of the city later denied there had been an explosion. State broadcaster IRIB said power was cut in several western suburbs near where online reports said an explosion occurred. It gave no further information about the cause of the blast or whether there were casualties. The governor of Qod city, Leila Vaseghi, told semi-official Fars news agency there had been no explosion but acknowledged a power cut that lasted about five minutes. It was not immediately clear if the reported incident had taken place in Qod or in a different area of western Tehran, and residents contacted by Reuters in other parts of the city said they had heard no explosion. There are reportedly several military facilities in the area which could have been the target of sabotage. A series of fires and blasts have been reported near Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent weeks. Iranian officials have said many were caused by industrial accidents. A bright flash lit up the night sky over Tehran early on June 26, apparently coming from near the near Parchin military site. Fars news agency later said the fire was caused by "an industrial gas tank explosion" near a facility belonging to the defence ministry. A defence ministry spokesman told state TV that the fire was quickly controlled and there were no casualties. But after a similar unexplained fire at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Isfahan province on July 2, officials were forced to admit there had been significant damage to the country’s primary uranium enrichment facility. A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council of Iran said the “cause of the accident” at the centrifuge assembly plant had been identified, saying more information would be released at a later date “due to security considerations”. The New York Times reported a Middle Eastern intelligence official and an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander saying the Natanz incident was caused by an explosive. The head of Israeli intelligence, Yossi Cohen, was later accused of leaking information that Mossad planted a bomb that caused the damage. On Friday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran would retaliate if it were shown an international sabotage operation had caused the explosion in Natanz. “It is still too early to make any judgment on the main cause of the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are probing into every detail of the incident,” Fars reported him as saying.


The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on Amazon

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Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden

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Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing man

Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing manTwo police officers in Utah were cleared Thursday in the death of an armed man shot at more than 30 times as he ran from police, a decision that prompted his grieving family to heighten their calls for systematic changes to law enforcement. The killing of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, has become a rallying point for protesters in the state amid a national wave of dissent against police brutality. District Attorney Sim Gill said Palacios-Carbajal was struck 13 to 15 times as he ran away from Salt Lake City police officers who were investigating a gun-threat call and had yelled for him to drop a gun.


Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimi

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Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trail

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Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removal

Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removalCounterprotesters said a passing driver pointed a gun at them Friday and said “All Lives Matter,” as competing groups gathered in front of South Carolina’s capitol building to mark the five-year anniversary of the state's removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds. The driver stopped in the middle of the road and stuck his middle finger out at several demonstrators who were on a road median shortly before noon, protester Kamison Burgess told The State newspaper.


Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people

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Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'

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No regrets: wounded Hong Kong police vow to keep enforcing law

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'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns

'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returnsThe pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s backIn West Virginia, they are bracing for the second wave.The epidemic that hit the Appalachian state harder than any other in the US finally looked to be in retreat. Now it’s advancing again. Not coronavirus but opioid overdoses, with one scourge driving a resurgence of the other.Covid-19 has claimed 93 lives in West Virginia over the past three months. That is only a fraction of those killed by drug overdoses, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths in the state in 2018 alone, mostly from opioids but also methamphetamine (also known as meth).That year was better than the one before as the Appalachian state appeared to turn the tide on an epidemic that has ravaged the region for two decades, destroying lives, tearing apart families and dragging down local economies.Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.“Once the tsunami of Covid-19 finally recedes, we’re going to be left with the social conditions that enabled the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place, and those are not going to go away.”To Brumage and others, coronavirus has also shown what can happen when the government takes a public health emergency seriously, unlike the opioid epidemic, which was largely ignored even as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands.The American Medical Association said it was “greatly concerned” at reported increases in opioid overdoses in more than 30 states although it will be months before hard data is available.> Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection> > Dr Mike BrumagePublic health officials from Kentucky to Florida, Texas and Colorado have recorded surges in opioid deaths as the economic and social anxieties created by the Covid-19 pandemic prove fertile ground for addiction. In addition, Brumage said significant numbers of people have fallen out of treatment programmes as support networks have been yanked away by social distancing orders.“I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.“Many of the people who were using the programme either didn’t have broadband or they didn’t have cellphone service, especially those who were homeless. They just fell out of the programme,” he said.The resurgence was not unforeseen. In March, as Covid-19 escalated, Donald Trump warned about the human toll beyond lives claimed by the virus. “You’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction. You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before. And people are going to be dying all over the place from drug addiction,” he said.Brumage and others who spoke to the Guardian were at pains to say they believed the scale of the government’s response to Covid-19 is necessary. But they saw the mobilisation of financial resources and political will to cope with the virus in stark contrast to the response of successive administrations to the opioid epidemic.Emily Walden lost her son to an opioid overdose and now heads Fed Up!, a group campaigning to reduce the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing levels.“Congress immediately acted with coronavirus to help those that lost their jobs, to make sure that people were taken care of and it was addressed properly,” she said. “Look at the difference with the opioid epidemic, which has largely been ignored by our federal government for 20 years.”While the US government has thrown $6tn at coronavirus, the Trump administration dedicated just $6bn to directly dealing with opioid addiction over his first two years in office even though about the same number of people died of drug overdoses in that period as have now been lost to Covid-19.Brumage said federal health institutions have shifted their focus to coronavirus, including freezing a $1bn research project to find less addictive pain treatments.> You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous> > Dr Mike Brumage“It’s robbed the oxygen out of the room and made it the sole focus of what’s happening,” said Brumage. “There’s also a fatigue about the opioid crisis. You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous, but it’s not happening at the same speed and scale as the coronavirus is having right now.” Brumage attributes the difference in response in part to attitudes toward drug addiction.“The difference between getting Covid and dying of an overdose is stigma around drug use. This has been ingrained across the United States – that people using drugs are somehow seen as morally deficient and so it becomes easier then to other and alienate those people,” he said.Walden does not accept that explanation. Like many whose families have been devastated by opioids, she sees a personal and public health catastrophe perpetuated by the financial and political power of the pharmaceutical industry to drive the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing rates which were a major factor in driving the epidemic.“This comes down to lobbyists and money. People say it’s stigma and it’s not. There is stigma but it’s about profits and greed,” she said.Dr Raeford Brown, a former chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s opioid advisory committee, is a longstanding critic of drug industry influence over opioid medical policy and the government’s response to the epidemic. He sees a parallel with coronavirus with US states lifting strong social distancing orders too early under corporate pressure.“The United States is not good at doing public health,” he said. “It failed the test with opioids and it failed the test with viral pandemics. But coronavirus and pandemics, and the things like the opioid crisis, are much more likely to get us than the Russians or the Chinese are.”


Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'

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Heat advisory issued as South Florida prepares to break temperature records

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Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker

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DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump Convention

DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump ConventionWASHINGTON -- When President Donald Trump first threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida started campaigning to bring the event to his state.But now, as convention planners in Jacksonville, Florida, seek to raise tens of millions of dollars on an almost impossibly rushed time frame, and in the middle of a raging pandemic, the governor is hindering those efforts, interviews show.DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fundraiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions.Wiles is a veteran Republican operative who led Trump's Florida team in 2016 and who ran DeSantis' 2018 campaign for governor. DeSantis' relationship with Wiles soured over his suspicion that she had leaked embarrassing information.Wiles, who lives in Jacksonville, rejoined the Trump campaign as an unpaid adviser last week, as the president's poll numbers in Florida, the country's biggest battleground state, have slipped and as he has sought to recreate his winning team from four years ago.Barker, the top DeSantis fundraiser, has been explicit with donors in Florida that the governor will not be helpful with rounding up money for the convention because of the involvement of Wiles, according to the people familiar with the conversations. In a phone call with Trump about whether to involve Wiles in the convention planning, DeSantis also told the president that she was overrated as an operative and that she had little to do with Trump's 2016 victory in the state, a person familiar with the discussion said. Trump did not respond, and changed the subject.Wiles declined to comment.In an interview Wednesday, Barker denied any attempt to undercut the convention, or to encourage people to withhold support. "We are encouraging all people to participate and we hope it's a success for the president," Barker said. "We just hope everything is a success and want it to be, however they want to structure things and put things together."The threat of the governor's working to undermine convention fundraising at first caused alarm among members of the Jacksonville host committee, who described efforts to raise money as particularly challenging because of the uncertainty caused by a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida Republicans are now under pressure to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next five weeks to help finance the three-day convention.In Florida, and in most states, the governor is the de facto head of the party and its fundraising efforts. The governor's threat to hold up resources in his own state was seen by Republican officials as a stunning act of political pettiness by DeSantis, who had campaigned to bring the convention to Florida, aiming to celebrate a president whose backing elevated him to his current position.Trump's endorsement of DeSantis, then a congressman and a fixture on Fox News, catapulted him to victory in the 2018 Republican primary. The president, who will travel to Florida for a fundraiser Friday, also forcefully backed DeSantis in the general election in which he scored a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum.People involved in the fundraising process said that the money for the convention was mostly coming from national donors, not donors from Florida, and that DeSantis' antipathy was having no noticeable impact on fundraising. The acrimony underscores how in a state where the Republican Party has been in power for so long, the political feuds are no longer with Democrats but with each other."Susie was a key player in 2016," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and his former campaign manager. "We leaned on her to help us win Florida. She remains well-liked and well-respected by the president, who has made clear he wants to 'get the band back together.' In addition to that, she was chief of staff, or played a leadership role, for two former mayors of Jacksonville."Brian Ballard, the top Republican lobbyist in Florida and one of the party's major fundraisers, said DeSantis had been supportive of the convention. "We have not asked him to take time to make fundraising calls," he said. "It wouldn't be appropriate, with all the health issues, to distract from what he's working on. Anyone who tries to lay some implications on that is absolutely not aware of the facts."The feud between DeSantis and Wiles first erupted in September, after a leaked internal memo from the governor's political committee suggested he could elevate his profile and raise funds for himself by charging lobbyists for access, including $25,000 for a round of golf with him. DeSantis' tight inner circle blamed the leak on Wiles, who led the committee, an accusation people close to Wiles considered unfounded and unfair.The governor's two closest advisers -- his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his chief of staff, Shane Strum -- had already soured on Wiles earlier in 2019. Too many operatives for the state's Republican Party were seen as Wiles loyalists. The DeSantis camp helped push out the party's executive director and install Peter O'Rourke, Trump's former Veterans Affairs secretary. (O'Rourke resigned from the party post in March.)After the leaked memo, DeSantis, who in his three terms in Congress was known for cycling through political staff members, cut ties with Wiles and forced her ouster from the Trump campaign, to the alarm of many Florida Republicans who believed she provided proven political chops in the state. Wiles swooped in to turn around DeSantis' 2018 campaign after his previous team made a series of early mistakes. She was also executive director of the governor's transition.Wiles said last fall that she was stepping away from her political roles and lobbying work with Ballard Partners to deal with health issues. Several Republicans predicted at the time that she would return if Trump's poll numbers in Florida began to flag. The campaign announced her return on Twitter last week.DeSantis pitched Florida hard as an alternative convention host when the state appeared to have the virus under control in May and early June. He had suggested Orlando or Miami as host cities. But Orlando had the problem of an oppositional local mayor, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County. Demings, a Democrat, is the husband of Rep. Val Demings, who is being vetted by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential running mate. Miami has been the center of the state's coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, Jacksonville had a supportive Republican mayor and an easy permitting structure in a city that owns almost all of its own facilities. For people involved in the convention planning -- everyone except DeSantis -- the fact that it was Wiles' hometown was also a plus, because she would be available to help the city make the convention arrangements.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his acts

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Ghislaine Maxwell says she hadn't been in contact with Jeffrey Epstein for more than 10 years before his death

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Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigator

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An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in 'almost every organ' of coronavirus patients' autopsies

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Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’

Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’Sam Newby was excited at first when the Republican National Convention decided to head to his city. But the Republican vice president of the Jacksonville City Council, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in March, has grown more worried as the late August convention fast approaches. There weren’t many cases in the area when the move was first announced, Newby said, but he warned that “now it's really starting to spike.”   “In a normal situation, I would be glad for the RNC to come here, I would be the first one to be there,” Newby said.“But with the spike of it, and I know what it can do, that's why I'm concerned about it coming to Jacksonville.” Trump’s drive for a Jacksonville convention is on a collision course with the rampant spread of the coronavirus in Florida. The public health situation in  the state has continued to grow worse in recent weeks, setting up the tense spectacle of the GOP holding its marquee event next month in a state that has become an epicenter of a resurgent COVID-19. “At this point, with the numbers going up, it's going to really be tough,” Newby warned in an interview. Only adding to the tension is that Trump likely needs to win Florida if he hopes to get a second term in the White House. And Newby isn’t alone in his concerns. “I don't want to see another Tulsa here," said Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who serves as president of the Jacksonville City Council, referring to the president’s June rally. In Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, new cases in the county rose last week according to state health department data. And Leo Alonso, an emergency medicine doctor in Jacksonville, described an alarming scene in the city describing the spread of the coronavirus as dramatic in recent weeks. He’s now worried that Duval County is becoming a hot spot. “This is really a bad time to be talking about having a convention here,” said Alonso, a member of the Committee to Protect Medicare. As Florida’s coronavirus situation continues to concern officials in the state, some prominent Republican party elders have made clear that they won’t be heading to see the president’s in-person nomination speech. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t head to the convention due to the coronavirus, according to The Des Moines Register.  And four other GOP senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the convention according to The Washington Post. Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNCTrump and the GOP decided to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declined to promise him a packed arena due to continued concerns over COVID-19 infections in the state. After states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia moved to try and bring the convention to their states, Jacksonville won out. Having both a GOP governor in Ron DeSantis and a Republican mayor in the city gave the party a buffer from the fraught political tensions that emerged during the pandemic over the size of the convention itself when it was scheduled to be held in North Carolina. But following the state’s spike in cases Trump hedged on his push in a recent television interview, according to The Miami Herald, saying “we’re very flexible,” when it comes how the Jacksonville convention will turn out. Democrats have already moved for a downsized convention for former Vice President Joe Biden’s nomination, providing a stark contrast to the uncertainty surrounding what Trump’s mega-event will look like late next month. Plans now call for the president’s speech to be held late next month at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, according to the party’s announcement of the moved event. The city’s host committee told reporters this week that "everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” according to CNN. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment this week asking how many people they expect to attend the Jacksonville portion of the convention. But the party did say in a statement that they are “committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time.” “The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,”  RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in the statement. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.” In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council president, lamented the lack of details he knew about the convention. That feeling was also backed by the council’s GOP vice president, who said council members haven’t gotten much information. “They're not communicating with us about what they're doing. And I don't think it's particularly something that they're hiding. I think it's more that they don't know themselves what the RNC is doing,” Hazouri said. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry emphasized to reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the convention is “many many weeks away.” He also pointed to a statewide executive order by Florida’s GOP governor that he said means "facilities cannot participate in anything over 50 percent capacity." “We are acting appropriately right now,” Curry said. “We'll act appropriately at that time.” Later on in that same briefing, the mayor’s chief of staff downplayed the city council’s involvement in the upcoming convention. The city also put in place last week a “mandatory mask requirement,” that applies to both indoor and public locations, according to the announcement.  Opposition to the convention has already become clear, with News4Jax reporting earlier this week that a large group of African-American pastors had signed on to a letter calling on the city to “reconsider” holding the RNC. Even though the RNC’s marquee event will no longer be held in Charlotte, Mark Brody, North Carolina’s national GOP committeeman said he isn’t that concerned about heading to Jacksonville next month to see the president’s speech. And while the president’s June Tulsa rally deeply troubled some officials, Brody said he is still expecting the president’s nomination speech to be a major event. He predicted that “we’re going to fill the stadium,” even though he doubted that people who are seriously at risk would turn out for the event. “This is a historic one-time event,” Brody said. “I think people are going to be able to take that chance.” 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.


Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New Hampshire

Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New HampshireHis campaign, already wary of another low turnout, blamed the decision on an impending tropical storm.


Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV network

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An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violation

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Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’

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UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

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Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancy

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Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19

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U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

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Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslims

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Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ information

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Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang members

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Fourth day of virus protests in Serbia

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Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreak

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Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.

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Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow Republican

Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow RepublicanPro-Trump internet personality Omar Navarro emerged from a six-month stint in jail on a stalking charge last month, and immediately registered to run for Congress. Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has registered to run for her seat again in 2022—assuming, perhaps logically, that Waters will once again prevail in her re-election request this November. But Navarro, who had nearly $50,000 in his campaign bank account as of March 31 even while he served his jail term, is not going to wait for those results before getting involved. He told The Daily Beast that he’s going to send out mailers this election cycle denouncing Joe Collins, the Republican nominee currently running against Waters.“Hey, I don’t agree with him,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “I believe Maxine Waters is better than him.”Asked for comment on Navarro’s sour-grapes scheme to ruin Collins’s already slim chances of winning this fall, Collins responded  by accusing Navarro of having “daddy issues” without elaborating. "Omar Navarro is a joke,” Collins told The Daily Beast. “He has the mentality of a four year old child throwing a temper tantrum and the testicular fortitude of a mouse.” A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking ChargesThe scrapping between Collins and Navarro for the chance to lose to Waters highlights the odd incentives facing Republican challengers taking on famous incumbents in heavily Democratic districts. Running against Waters as a Republican would be a poor choice for anyone who actually wants to win. Indeed, Navarro has tried twice already, losing by more than 50 percentage points in 2016 and 2018. But for a GOPer interested in raising millions off of Waters’s notoriety as a devoted Trump foe, and increasing his profile in the pro-Trump mediasphere, it works out great. Navarro raked in donations from low-dollar contributors and saw his stature on the online Trump right explode thanks to his quixotic earlier campaigns. Even the candidates themselves acknowledge the money that’s at stake for whoever wins the right to face off against Waters. “The main reason Navarro is upset is because he's used to living off of his campaign donations and now he's facing the realization that, after being beaten by a real candidate with a shot at winning, he has to find a real job,” Collins said in his email. For Navarro, that time in the bright lights of online Trumpy fame came to a halt when he was arrested in December in San Francisco after stalking ex-girlfriend and fellow Republican personality DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, who herself was running a doomed campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Navarro eventually pleaded guilty to a stalking charge, and was sentenced to six months in San Francisco’s jail, where he claims to have lost 30 pounds. Even while imprisoned in San Francisco, Navarro kept up his political profile. And he stayed on the ballot, losing the March Republican primary to Collins by a mere 250 votes—a 0.3 percent difference in the vote total. Undeterred by that loss, Navarro has tried to recast himself since being released from jail as the latest victim of deep-state prosecutors. While other Trump supporters who faced criminal charges were involved in international intrigue, however, Navarro has been faced with claiming that he was arrested on a local stalking charge because of some secret government scheme. “Full disclosure with you guys: in the past six months, yes, I have been in a county jail,” Navarro told his more than 250,000 Twitter followers after being released from jail. Despite overwhelming evidence that Navarro violated Tesoriero’s restraining order against him, including the fact that Navarro bashed Tesoriero to The Daily Beast in apparent violation of the order, Navarro claims that he only pleaded guilty because he would have become a “political prisoner” if he hadn’t.“I wouldn’t have been judged by a jury of my peers, I would’ve been judged by a bunch of liberals, and they would have kept me locked up in there as a political prisoner,” Navarro said in his Twitter video. “And that’s not OK.” While it might seem strange for the recently imprisoned Navarro to be confident he can win the 2022 primary to challenge Waters, he is aided by the fact that Collins has a bizarre history of his own.A Navy veteran, Collins has continuously switched parties since 2016, cycling between being a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Green Party, and a member of the “Millennial Political Party.” Collins has also filed a lawsuit over child support payments that is riddled with language echoing the nonsense legal language used by members of the far-right sovereign citizen movement. At one point in his lawsuit, in an apparent attempt to deploy a fringe legal theory, Collins claimed that his bodily fluids were worth $15 million—a bizarre detail Navarro has seized on in his campaign to bring down his rival.   “You’re the guy that’s gonna take down Maxine Waters?” Navarro said in a video taunting Collins that he released in late June. “I’m sorry, but you’re not gonna do that. And by the way, your bodily fluids are not worth $15 million.” 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.


Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for life

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Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrm

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César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

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Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.

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A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't help

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'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

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Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand results

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Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-ahead

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Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in Tehran

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The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on Amazon

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Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden

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Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing man

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Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimi

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Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trail

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Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removal

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Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people

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Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'

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'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns

'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returnsThe pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s backIn West Virginia, they are bracing for the second wave.The epidemic that hit the Appalachian state harder than any other in the US finally looked to be in retreat. Now it’s advancing again. Not coronavirus but opioid overdoses, with one scourge driving a resurgence of the other.Covid-19 has claimed 93 lives in West Virginia over the past three months. That is only a fraction of those killed by drug overdoses, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths in the state in 2018 alone, mostly from opioids but also methamphetamine (also known as meth).That year was better than the one before as the Appalachian state appeared to turn the tide on an epidemic that has ravaged the region for two decades, destroying lives, tearing apart families and dragging down local economies.Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.“Once the tsunami of Covid-19 finally recedes, we’re going to be left with the social conditions that enabled the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place, and those are not going to go away.”To Brumage and others, coronavirus has also shown what can happen when the government takes a public health emergency seriously, unlike the opioid epidemic, which was largely ignored even as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands.The American Medical Association said it was “greatly concerned” at reported increases in opioid overdoses in more than 30 states although it will be months before hard data is available.> Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection> > Dr Mike BrumagePublic health officials from Kentucky to Florida, Texas and Colorado have recorded surges in opioid deaths as the economic and social anxieties created by the Covid-19 pandemic prove fertile ground for addiction. In addition, Brumage said significant numbers of people have fallen out of treatment programmes as support networks have been yanked away by social distancing orders.“I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.“Many of the people who were using the programme either didn’t have broadband or they didn’t have cellphone service, especially those who were homeless. They just fell out of the programme,” he said.The resurgence was not unforeseen. In March, as Covid-19 escalated, Donald Trump warned about the human toll beyond lives claimed by the virus. “You’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction. You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before. And people are going to be dying all over the place from drug addiction,” he said.Brumage and others who spoke to the Guardian were at pains to say they believed the scale of the government’s response to Covid-19 is necessary. But they saw the mobilisation of financial resources and political will to cope with the virus in stark contrast to the response of successive administrations to the opioid epidemic.Emily Walden lost her son to an opioid overdose and now heads Fed Up!, a group campaigning to reduce the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing levels.“Congress immediately acted with coronavirus to help those that lost their jobs, to make sure that people were taken care of and it was addressed properly,” she said. “Look at the difference with the opioid epidemic, which has largely been ignored by our federal government for 20 years.”While the US government has thrown $6tn at coronavirus, the Trump administration dedicated just $6bn to directly dealing with opioid addiction over his first two years in office even though about the same number of people died of drug overdoses in that period as have now been lost to Covid-19.Brumage said federal health institutions have shifted their focus to coronavirus, including freezing a $1bn research project to find less addictive pain treatments.> You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous> > Dr Mike Brumage“It’s robbed the oxygen out of the room and made it the sole focus of what’s happening,” said Brumage. “There’s also a fatigue about the opioid crisis. You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous, but it’s not happening at the same speed and scale as the coronavirus is having right now.” Brumage attributes the difference in response in part to attitudes toward drug addiction.“The difference between getting Covid and dying of an overdose is stigma around drug use. This has been ingrained across the United States – that people using drugs are somehow seen as morally deficient and so it becomes easier then to other and alienate those people,” he said.Walden does not accept that explanation. Like many whose families have been devastated by opioids, she sees a personal and public health catastrophe perpetuated by the financial and political power of the pharmaceutical industry to drive the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing rates which were a major factor in driving the epidemic.“This comes down to lobbyists and money. People say it’s stigma and it’s not. There is stigma but it’s about profits and greed,” she said.Dr Raeford Brown, a former chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s opioid advisory committee, is a longstanding critic of drug industry influence over opioid medical policy and the government’s response to the epidemic. He sees a parallel with coronavirus with US states lifting strong social distancing orders too early under corporate pressure.“The United States is not good at doing public health,” he said. “It failed the test with opioids and it failed the test with viral pandemics. But coronavirus and pandemics, and the things like the opioid crisis, are much more likely to get us than the Russians or the Chinese are.”


Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'

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Heat advisory issued as South Florida prepares to break temperature records

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Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker

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DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump Convention

DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump ConventionWASHINGTON -- When President Donald Trump first threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida started campaigning to bring the event to his state.But now, as convention planners in Jacksonville, Florida, seek to raise tens of millions of dollars on an almost impossibly rushed time frame, and in the middle of a raging pandemic, the governor is hindering those efforts, interviews show.DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fundraiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions.Wiles is a veteran Republican operative who led Trump's Florida team in 2016 and who ran DeSantis' 2018 campaign for governor. DeSantis' relationship with Wiles soured over his suspicion that she had leaked embarrassing information.Wiles, who lives in Jacksonville, rejoined the Trump campaign as an unpaid adviser last week, as the president's poll numbers in Florida, the country's biggest battleground state, have slipped and as he has sought to recreate his winning team from four years ago.Barker, the top DeSantis fundraiser, has been explicit with donors in Florida that the governor will not be helpful with rounding up money for the convention because of the involvement of Wiles, according to the people familiar with the conversations. In a phone call with Trump about whether to involve Wiles in the convention planning, DeSantis also told the president that she was overrated as an operative and that she had little to do with Trump's 2016 victory in the state, a person familiar with the discussion said. Trump did not respond, and changed the subject.Wiles declined to comment.In an interview Wednesday, Barker denied any attempt to undercut the convention, or to encourage people to withhold support. "We are encouraging all people to participate and we hope it's a success for the president," Barker said. "We just hope everything is a success and want it to be, however they want to structure things and put things together."The threat of the governor's working to undermine convention fundraising at first caused alarm among members of the Jacksonville host committee, who described efforts to raise money as particularly challenging because of the uncertainty caused by a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida Republicans are now under pressure to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next five weeks to help finance the three-day convention.In Florida, and in most states, the governor is the de facto head of the party and its fundraising efforts. The governor's threat to hold up resources in his own state was seen by Republican officials as a stunning act of political pettiness by DeSantis, who had campaigned to bring the convention to Florida, aiming to celebrate a president whose backing elevated him to his current position.Trump's endorsement of DeSantis, then a congressman and a fixture on Fox News, catapulted him to victory in the 2018 Republican primary. The president, who will travel to Florida for a fundraiser Friday, also forcefully backed DeSantis in the general election in which he scored a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum.People involved in the fundraising process said that the money for the convention was mostly coming from national donors, not donors from Florida, and that DeSantis' antipathy was having no noticeable impact on fundraising. The acrimony underscores how in a state where the Republican Party has been in power for so long, the political feuds are no longer with Democrats but with each other."Susie was a key player in 2016," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and his former campaign manager. "We leaned on her to help us win Florida. She remains well-liked and well-respected by the president, who has made clear he wants to 'get the band back together.' In addition to that, she was chief of staff, or played a leadership role, for two former mayors of Jacksonville."Brian Ballard, the top Republican lobbyist in Florida and one of the party's major fundraisers, said DeSantis had been supportive of the convention. "We have not asked him to take time to make fundraising calls," he said. "It wouldn't be appropriate, with all the health issues, to distract from what he's working on. Anyone who tries to lay some implications on that is absolutely not aware of the facts."The feud between DeSantis and Wiles first erupted in September, after a leaked internal memo from the governor's political committee suggested he could elevate his profile and raise funds for himself by charging lobbyists for access, including $25,000 for a round of golf with him. DeSantis' tight inner circle blamed the leak on Wiles, who led the committee, an accusation people close to Wiles considered unfounded and unfair.The governor's two closest advisers -- his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his chief of staff, Shane Strum -- had already soured on Wiles earlier in 2019. Too many operatives for the state's Republican Party were seen as Wiles loyalists. The DeSantis camp helped push out the party's executive director and install Peter O'Rourke, Trump's former Veterans Affairs secretary. (O'Rourke resigned from the party post in March.)After the leaked memo, DeSantis, who in his three terms in Congress was known for cycling through political staff members, cut ties with Wiles and forced her ouster from the Trump campaign, to the alarm of many Florida Republicans who believed she provided proven political chops in the state. Wiles swooped in to turn around DeSantis' 2018 campaign after his previous team made a series of early mistakes. She was also executive director of the governor's transition.Wiles said last fall that she was stepping away from her political roles and lobbying work with Ballard Partners to deal with health issues. Several Republicans predicted at the time that she would return if Trump's poll numbers in Florida began to flag. The campaign announced her return on Twitter last week.DeSantis pitched Florida hard as an alternative convention host when the state appeared to have the virus under control in May and early June. He had suggested Orlando or Miami as host cities. But Orlando had the problem of an oppositional local mayor, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County. Demings, a Democrat, is the husband of Rep. Val Demings, who is being vetted by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential running mate. Miami has been the center of the state's coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, Jacksonville had a supportive Republican mayor and an easy permitting structure in a city that owns almost all of its own facilities. For people involved in the convention planning -- everyone except DeSantis -- the fact that it was Wiles' hometown was also a plus, because she would be available to help the city make the convention arrangements.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his acts

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The Best Smart Technology for Your Socially Distanced Summer
Ghislaine Maxwell says she hadn't been in contact with Jeffrey Epstein for more than 10 years before his death

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'This is not the summer for a spontaneous road trip': The case for canceling your vacation

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Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigator

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An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in 'almost every organ' of coronavirus patients' autopsies

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As COVID crisis worsens, Miami-Dade scaling back $70M program for delivering senior meals

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Coronavirus: How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19

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Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’

Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’Sam Newby was excited at first when the Republican National Convention decided to head to his city. But the Republican vice president of the Jacksonville City Council, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in March, has grown more worried as the late August convention fast approaches. There weren’t many cases in the area when the move was first announced, Newby said, but he warned that “now it's really starting to spike.”   “In a normal situation, I would be glad for the RNC to come here, I would be the first one to be there,” Newby said.“But with the spike of it, and I know what it can do, that's why I'm concerned about it coming to Jacksonville.” Trump’s drive for a Jacksonville convention is on a collision course with the rampant spread of the coronavirus in Florida. The public health situation in  the state has continued to grow worse in recent weeks, setting up the tense spectacle of the GOP holding its marquee event next month in a state that has become an epicenter of a resurgent COVID-19. “At this point, with the numbers going up, it's going to really be tough,” Newby warned in an interview. Only adding to the tension is that Trump likely needs to win Florida if he hopes to get a second term in the White House. And Newby isn’t alone in his concerns. “I don't want to see another Tulsa here," said Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who serves as president of the Jacksonville City Council, referring to the president’s June rally. In Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, new cases in the county rose last week according to state health department data. And Leo Alonso, an emergency medicine doctor in Jacksonville, described an alarming scene in the city describing the spread of the coronavirus as dramatic in recent weeks. He’s now worried that Duval County is becoming a hot spot. “This is really a bad time to be talking about having a convention here,” said Alonso, a member of the Committee to Protect Medicare. As Florida’s coronavirus situation continues to concern officials in the state, some prominent Republican party elders have made clear that they won’t be heading to see the president’s in-person nomination speech. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t head to the convention due to the coronavirus, according to The Des Moines Register.  And four other GOP senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the convention according to The Washington Post. Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNCTrump and the GOP decided to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declined to promise him a packed arena due to continued concerns over COVID-19 infections in the state. After states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia moved to try and bring the convention to their states, Jacksonville won out. Having both a GOP governor in Ron DeSantis and a Republican mayor in the city gave the party a buffer from the fraught political tensions that emerged during the pandemic over the size of the convention itself when it was scheduled to be held in North Carolina. But following the state’s spike in cases Trump hedged on his push in a recent television interview, according to The Miami Herald, saying “we’re very flexible,” when it comes how the Jacksonville convention will turn out. Democrats have already moved for a downsized convention for former Vice President Joe Biden’s nomination, providing a stark contrast to the uncertainty surrounding what Trump’s mega-event will look like late next month. Plans now call for the president’s speech to be held late next month at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, according to the party’s announcement of the moved event. The city’s host committee told reporters this week that "everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” according to CNN. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment this week asking how many people they expect to attend the Jacksonville portion of the convention. But the party did say in a statement that they are “committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time.” “The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,”  RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in the statement. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.” In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council president, lamented the lack of details he knew about the convention. That feeling was also backed by the council’s GOP vice president, who said council members haven’t gotten much information. “They're not communicating with us about what they're doing. And I don't think it's particularly something that they're hiding. I think it's more that they don't know themselves what the RNC is doing,” Hazouri said. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry emphasized to reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the convention is “many many weeks away.” He also pointed to a statewide executive order by Florida’s GOP governor that he said means "facilities cannot participate in anything over 50 percent capacity." “We are acting appropriately right now,” Curry said. “We'll act appropriately at that time.” Later on in that same briefing, the mayor’s chief of staff downplayed the city council’s involvement in the upcoming convention. The city also put in place last week a “mandatory mask requirement,” that applies to both indoor and public locations, according to the announcement.  Opposition to the convention has already become clear, with News4Jax reporting earlier this week that a large group of African-American pastors had signed on to a letter calling on the city to “reconsider” holding the RNC. Even though the RNC’s marquee event will no longer be held in Charlotte, Mark Brody, North Carolina’s national GOP committeeman said he isn’t that concerned about heading to Jacksonville next month to see the president’s speech. And while the president’s June Tulsa rally deeply troubled some officials, Brody said he is still expecting the president’s nomination speech to be a major event. He predicted that “we’re going to fill the stadium,” even though he doubted that people who are seriously at risk would turn out for the event. “This is a historic one-time event,” Brody said. “I think people are going to be able to take that chance.” 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.


Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New Hampshire

Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New HampshireHis campaign, already wary of another low turnout, blamed the decision on an impending tropical storm.


Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV network

Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV networkPhilippine lawmakers voted Friday to reject the license renewal of the country’s largest TV network, shutting down a major news provider that had been repeatedly threatened by the president over its critical coverage. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Franchises voted 70-11 to reject a new 25-year license for ABS-CBN Corp. The National Telecommunications Commission had ordered the broadcaster to shut down in May after its old franchise expired. It halted broadcasting then, but the vote takes it off the air permanently.


An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violation

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Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’

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UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

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Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancy

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Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19

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U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

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Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslims

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Outdoor Dinging Decor That's Sure to Bring Joy to Any Table 
Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ information

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Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang members

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A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episode

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Fourth day of virus protests in Serbia

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Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreak

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Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.

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Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow Republican

Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow RepublicanPro-Trump internet personality Omar Navarro emerged from a six-month stint in jail on a stalking charge last month, and immediately registered to run for Congress. Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has registered to run for her seat again in 2022—assuming, perhaps logically, that Waters will once again prevail in her re-election request this November. But Navarro, who had nearly $50,000 in his campaign bank account as of March 31 even while he served his jail term, is not going to wait for those results before getting involved. He told The Daily Beast that he’s going to send out mailers this election cycle denouncing Joe Collins, the Republican nominee currently running against Waters.“Hey, I don’t agree with him,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “I believe Maxine Waters is better than him.”Asked for comment on Navarro’s sour-grapes scheme to ruin Collins’s already slim chances of winning this fall, Collins responded  by accusing Navarro of having “daddy issues” without elaborating. "Omar Navarro is a joke,” Collins told The Daily Beast. “He has the mentality of a four year old child throwing a temper tantrum and the testicular fortitude of a mouse.” A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking ChargesThe scrapping between Collins and Navarro for the chance to lose to Waters highlights the odd incentives facing Republican challengers taking on famous incumbents in heavily Democratic districts. Running against Waters as a Republican would be a poor choice for anyone who actually wants to win. Indeed, Navarro has tried twice already, losing by more than 50 percentage points in 2016 and 2018. But for a GOPer interested in raising millions off of Waters’s notoriety as a devoted Trump foe, and increasing his profile in the pro-Trump mediasphere, it works out great. Navarro raked in donations from low-dollar contributors and saw his stature on the online Trump right explode thanks to his quixotic earlier campaigns. Even the candidates themselves acknowledge the money that’s at stake for whoever wins the right to face off against Waters. “The main reason Navarro is upset is because he's used to living off of his campaign donations and now he's facing the realization that, after being beaten by a real candidate with a shot at winning, he has to find a real job,” Collins said in his email. For Navarro, that time in the bright lights of online Trumpy fame came to a halt when he was arrested in December in San Francisco after stalking ex-girlfriend and fellow Republican personality DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, who herself was running a doomed campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Navarro eventually pleaded guilty to a stalking charge, and was sentenced to six months in San Francisco’s jail, where he claims to have lost 30 pounds. Even while imprisoned in San Francisco, Navarro kept up his political profile. And he stayed on the ballot, losing the March Republican primary to Collins by a mere 250 votes—a 0.3 percent difference in the vote total. Undeterred by that loss, Navarro has tried to recast himself since being released from jail as the latest victim of deep-state prosecutors. While other Trump supporters who faced criminal charges were involved in international intrigue, however, Navarro has been faced with claiming that he was arrested on a local stalking charge because of some secret government scheme. “Full disclosure with you guys: in the past six months, yes, I have been in a county jail,” Navarro told his more than 250,000 Twitter followers after being released from jail. Despite overwhelming evidence that Navarro violated Tesoriero’s restraining order against him, including the fact that Navarro bashed Tesoriero to The Daily Beast in apparent violation of the order, Navarro claims that he only pleaded guilty because he would have become a “political prisoner” if he hadn’t.“I wouldn’t have been judged by a jury of my peers, I would’ve been judged by a bunch of liberals, and they would have kept me locked up in there as a political prisoner,” Navarro said in his Twitter video. “And that’s not OK.” While it might seem strange for the recently imprisoned Navarro to be confident he can win the 2022 primary to challenge Waters, he is aided by the fact that Collins has a bizarre history of his own.A Navy veteran, Collins has continuously switched parties since 2016, cycling between being a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Green Party, and a member of the “Millennial Political Party.” Collins has also filed a lawsuit over child support payments that is riddled with language echoing the nonsense legal language used by members of the far-right sovereign citizen movement. At one point in his lawsuit, in an apparent attempt to deploy a fringe legal theory, Collins claimed that his bodily fluids were worth $15 million—a bizarre detail Navarro has seized on in his campaign to bring down his rival.   “You’re the guy that’s gonna take down Maxine Waters?” Navarro said in a video taunting Collins that he released in late June. “I’m sorry, but you’re not gonna do that. And by the way, your bodily fluids are not worth $15 million.” 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.


Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for life

Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for lifeAn opposition governor was detained and several activists had their homes raided by the police on Thursday as Russia’s latest crackdown on dissent gathers momentum. The flurry of arrests and criminal inquiries follow last week’s vote in which nearly 78 percent endorsed constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay as president at least until 2036 when he turns 83. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East who beat a Kremlin candidate at the 2018 election, was arrested by camouflaged agents of Russia’s top investigative body on Thursday morning and put on a plane to Moscow. The popular governor whose landslide win at the polls embarrassed the pro-Kremlin party, is accused of organising two contract killings as well as an attempted murder 15 years ago, according to the Investigative Committee, Russia's main federal investigating authority. Mr Furgal has not been charged with any crime. An unnamed source claiming to be linked to Mr Furgal says he has denied the allegations. Mr Furgal had been in Russian parliament for more than a decade before he won the Khabarovsk election in 2018, which has raised questions about the timing of the charges brought against him.


Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrm

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César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

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Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.

Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.Communities of color have endured the weight of COVID-19, the recession and social unrest. They’re also bearing the brunt of a surge in gun violence.


A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't help

A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't helpHighly concentrated caffeine supplements can cause serious or even fatal side effects; dangerous amounts of caffeine are cheap and widely available.


'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

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The Best Beach Towels That Aren’t Totally Boring
Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand results

Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand resultsBrazil's government announced on Thursday it planned to ban setting fires in the Amazon for 120 days, in a meeting with global investors to address their rising concerns over destruction of the rainforest. The decree banning fires, set to be issued next week, repeats a similar temporary ban instituted last year when forest fires surged, provoking outcry that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the world's largest rainforest. Brazil's government, led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, had arranged Thursday's video conference in response to a letter sent by 29 global firms demanding the government stop environmental destruction that has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office at the start of last year.


Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-ahead

Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-aheadTexas has executed its first death row inmate since it first confirmed a case of coronavirus after a Supreme Court ruling allowed his execution to go ahead.Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, was sentenced to death in 1993 for a robbery and murder in which he and his girlfriend tried to rob 82-year-old Carl Cole of his truck using a .45-calibre gun. Mr Wardlow fired the gun in a struggle, and Cole was killed; the couple were arrested two days later.


Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in Tehran

Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in TehranIranian state media reported a blast in western Tehran early Friday, the latest in a string of mysterious incidents to shake the country in recent weeks. However, a senior official in that part of the city later denied there had been an explosion. State broadcaster IRIB said power was cut in several western suburbs near where online reports said an explosion occurred. It gave no further information about the cause of the blast or whether there were casualties. The governor of Qod city, Leila Vaseghi, told semi-official Fars news agency there had been no explosion but acknowledged a power cut that lasted about five minutes. It was not immediately clear if the reported incident had taken place in Qod or in a different area of western Tehran, and residents contacted by Reuters in other parts of the city said they had heard no explosion. There are reportedly several military facilities in the area which could have been the target of sabotage. A series of fires and blasts have been reported near Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent weeks. Iranian officials have said many were caused by industrial accidents. A bright flash lit up the night sky over Tehran early on June 26, apparently coming from near the near Parchin military site. Fars news agency later said the fire was caused by "an industrial gas tank explosion" near a facility belonging to the defence ministry. A defence ministry spokesman told state TV that the fire was quickly controlled and there were no casualties. But after a similar unexplained fire at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Isfahan province on July 2, officials were forced to admit there had been significant damage to the country’s primary uranium enrichment facility. A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council of Iran said the “cause of the accident” at the centrifuge assembly plant had been identified, saying more information would be released at a later date “due to security considerations”. The New York Times reported a Middle Eastern intelligence official and an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander saying the Natanz incident was caused by an explosive. The head of Israeli intelligence, Yossi Cohen, was later accused of leaking information that Mossad planted a bomb that caused the damage. On Friday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran would retaliate if it were shown an international sabotage operation had caused the explosion in Natanz. “It is still too early to make any judgment on the main cause of the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are probing into every detail of the incident,” Fars reported him as saying.


The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on Amazon

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Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden

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Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing man

Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing manTwo police officers in Utah were cleared Thursday in the death of an armed man shot at more than 30 times as he ran from police, a decision that prompted his grieving family to heighten their calls for systematic changes to law enforcement. The killing of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, has become a rallying point for protesters in the state amid a national wave of dissent against police brutality. District Attorney Sim Gill said Palacios-Carbajal was struck 13 to 15 times as he ran away from Salt Lake City police officers who were investigating a gun-threat call and had yelled for him to drop a gun.


Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimi

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Trump's terrible, no good, very bad stretch on the campaign trail

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Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removal

Protester: Man pulls gun on anniversary of flag’s removalCounterprotesters said a passing driver pointed a gun at them Friday and said “All Lives Matter,” as competing groups gathered in front of South Carolina’s capitol building to mark the five-year anniversary of the state's removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds. The driver stopped in the middle of the road and stuck his middle finger out at several demonstrators who were on a road median shortly before noon, protester Kamison Burgess told The State newspaper.


Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people

Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey just announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million peopleJack Dorsey's fellow Silicon Valley billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg think a universal basic income could help poor Americans, too.


Bernie Sanders hails Biden as possibly the 'most progressive president since FDR'

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No regrets: wounded Hong Kong police vow to keep enforcing law

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'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returns

'Opioid overdoses are skyrocketing': as Covid-19 sweeps across US an old epidemic returnsThe pandemic is creating the social conditions – no jobs, isolation, despair – that helped enable the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place. Now it’s backIn West Virginia, they are bracing for the second wave.The epidemic that hit the Appalachian state harder than any other in the US finally looked to be in retreat. Now it’s advancing again. Not coronavirus but opioid overdoses, with one scourge driving a resurgence of the other.Covid-19 has claimed 93 lives in West Virginia over the past three months. That is only a fraction of those killed by drug overdoses, which caused nearly 1,000 deaths in the state in 2018 alone, mostly from opioids but also methamphetamine (also known as meth).That year was better than the one before as the Appalachian state appeared to turn the tide on an epidemic that has ravaged the region for two decades, destroying lives, tearing apart families and dragging down local economies.Now coronavirus looks to be undoing the advances made against a drug epidemic that has claimed close to 600,000 lives in the US over the past two decades. Worse, it is also laying the ground for a long-term resurgence of addiction by exacerbating many of the conditions, including unemployment, low incomes and isolation, that contributed to the rise of the opioid epidemic and “deaths of despair”.“The number of opioid overdoses is skyrocketing and I don’t think it will be easily turned back,” said Dr Mike Brumage, former director of the West Virginia office of drug control policy.“Once the tsunami of Covid-19 finally recedes, we’re going to be left with the social conditions that enabled the opioid crisis to emerge in the first place, and those are not going to go away.”To Brumage and others, coronavirus has also shown what can happen when the government takes a public health emergency seriously, unlike the opioid epidemic, which was largely ignored even as the death toll climbed into the hundreds of thousands.The American Medical Association said it was “greatly concerned” at reported increases in opioid overdoses in more than 30 states although it will be months before hard data is available.> Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection> > Dr Mike BrumagePublic health officials from Kentucky to Florida, Texas and Colorado have recorded surges in opioid deaths as the economic and social anxieties created by the Covid-19 pandemic prove fertile ground for addiction. In addition, Brumage said significant numbers of people have fallen out of treatment programmes as support networks have been yanked away by social distancing orders.“I’m a firm adherent to the idea that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Clearly, what we have lost with the pandemic is a loss of connection,” he said.“Many of the people who were using the programme either didn’t have broadband or they didn’t have cellphone service, especially those who were homeless. They just fell out of the programme,” he said.The resurgence was not unforeseen. In March, as Covid-19 escalated, Donald Trump warned about the human toll beyond lives claimed by the virus. “You’re going to have tremendous suicides, but you know what you’re going to have more than anything else? Drug addiction. You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before. And people are going to be dying all over the place from drug addiction,” he said.Brumage and others who spoke to the Guardian were at pains to say they believed the scale of the government’s response to Covid-19 is necessary. But they saw the mobilisation of financial resources and political will to cope with the virus in stark contrast to the response of successive administrations to the opioid epidemic.Emily Walden lost her son to an opioid overdose and now heads Fed Up!, a group campaigning to reduce the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing levels.“Congress immediately acted with coronavirus to help those that lost their jobs, to make sure that people were taken care of and it was addressed properly,” she said. “Look at the difference with the opioid epidemic, which has largely been ignored by our federal government for 20 years.”While the US government has thrown $6tn at coronavirus, the Trump administration dedicated just $6bn to directly dealing with opioid addiction over his first two years in office even though about the same number of people died of drug overdoses in that period as have now been lost to Covid-19.Brumage said federal health institutions have shifted their focus to coronavirus, including freezing a $1bn research project to find less addictive pain treatments.> You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous> > Dr Mike Brumage“It’s robbed the oxygen out of the room and made it the sole focus of what’s happening,” said Brumage. “There’s also a fatigue about the opioid crisis. You can think of Covid-19 as a hurricane whereas the opioid crisis is more like global warming. It’s happening, it’s slow, it’s dangerous, but it’s not happening at the same speed and scale as the coronavirus is having right now.” Brumage attributes the difference in response in part to attitudes toward drug addiction.“The difference between getting Covid and dying of an overdose is stigma around drug use. This has been ingrained across the United States – that people using drugs are somehow seen as morally deficient and so it becomes easier then to other and alienate those people,” he said.Walden does not accept that explanation. Like many whose families have been devastated by opioids, she sees a personal and public health catastrophe perpetuated by the financial and political power of the pharmaceutical industry to drive the US’s exceptionally high opioid prescribing rates which were a major factor in driving the epidemic.“This comes down to lobbyists and money. People say it’s stigma and it’s not. There is stigma but it’s about profits and greed,” she said.Dr Raeford Brown, a former chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s opioid advisory committee, is a longstanding critic of drug industry influence over opioid medical policy and the government’s response to the epidemic. He sees a parallel with coronavirus with US states lifting strong social distancing orders too early under corporate pressure.“The United States is not good at doing public health,” he said. “It failed the test with opioids and it failed the test with viral pandemics. But coronavirus and pandemics, and the things like the opioid crisis, are much more likely to get us than the Russians or the Chinese are.”


Fauci on COVID-19 vaccine: 'We have responsibility to the entire planet'

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Heat advisory issued as South Florida prepares to break temperature records

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Environmental Injustice Is Another Form of 'Assault on Black Bodies,' Says Sen. Cory Booker

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DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump Convention

DeSantis Is Said to Quietly Hinder Fundraising for Trump ConventionWASHINGTON -- When President Donald Trump first threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida started campaigning to bring the event to his state.But now, as convention planners in Jacksonville, Florida, seek to raise tens of millions of dollars on an almost impossibly rushed time frame, and in the middle of a raging pandemic, the governor is hindering those efforts, interviews show.DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fundraiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions.Wiles is a veteran Republican operative who led Trump's Florida team in 2016 and who ran DeSantis' 2018 campaign for governor. DeSantis' relationship with Wiles soured over his suspicion that she had leaked embarrassing information.Wiles, who lives in Jacksonville, rejoined the Trump campaign as an unpaid adviser last week, as the president's poll numbers in Florida, the country's biggest battleground state, have slipped and as he has sought to recreate his winning team from four years ago.Barker, the top DeSantis fundraiser, has been explicit with donors in Florida that the governor will not be helpful with rounding up money for the convention because of the involvement of Wiles, according to the people familiar with the conversations. In a phone call with Trump about whether to involve Wiles in the convention planning, DeSantis also told the president that she was overrated as an operative and that she had little to do with Trump's 2016 victory in the state, a person familiar with the discussion said. Trump did not respond, and changed the subject.Wiles declined to comment.In an interview Wednesday, Barker denied any attempt to undercut the convention, or to encourage people to withhold support. "We are encouraging all people to participate and we hope it's a success for the president," Barker said. "We just hope everything is a success and want it to be, however they want to structure things and put things together."The threat of the governor's working to undermine convention fundraising at first caused alarm among members of the Jacksonville host committee, who described efforts to raise money as particularly challenging because of the uncertainty caused by a surge in new coronavirus cases. Florida Republicans are now under pressure to raise tens of millions of dollars in the next five weeks to help finance the three-day convention.In Florida, and in most states, the governor is the de facto head of the party and its fundraising efforts. The governor's threat to hold up resources in his own state was seen by Republican officials as a stunning act of political pettiness by DeSantis, who had campaigned to bring the convention to Florida, aiming to celebrate a president whose backing elevated him to his current position.Trump's endorsement of DeSantis, then a congressman and a fixture on Fox News, catapulted him to victory in the 2018 Republican primary. The president, who will travel to Florida for a fundraiser Friday, also forcefully backed DeSantis in the general election in which he scored a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum.People involved in the fundraising process said that the money for the convention was mostly coming from national donors, not donors from Florida, and that DeSantis' antipathy was having no noticeable impact on fundraising. The acrimony underscores how in a state where the Republican Party has been in power for so long, the political feuds are no longer with Democrats but with each other."Susie was a key player in 2016," said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president and his former campaign manager. "We leaned on her to help us win Florida. She remains well-liked and well-respected by the president, who has made clear he wants to 'get the band back together.' In addition to that, she was chief of staff, or played a leadership role, for two former mayors of Jacksonville."Brian Ballard, the top Republican lobbyist in Florida and one of the party's major fundraisers, said DeSantis had been supportive of the convention. "We have not asked him to take time to make fundraising calls," he said. "It wouldn't be appropriate, with all the health issues, to distract from what he's working on. Anyone who tries to lay some implications on that is absolutely not aware of the facts."The feud between DeSantis and Wiles first erupted in September, after a leaked internal memo from the governor's political committee suggested he could elevate his profile and raise funds for himself by charging lobbyists for access, including $25,000 for a round of golf with him. DeSantis' tight inner circle blamed the leak on Wiles, who led the committee, an accusation people close to Wiles considered unfounded and unfair.The governor's two closest advisers -- his wife, Casey DeSantis, and his chief of staff, Shane Strum -- had already soured on Wiles earlier in 2019. Too many operatives for the state's Republican Party were seen as Wiles loyalists. The DeSantis camp helped push out the party's executive director and install Peter O'Rourke, Trump's former Veterans Affairs secretary. (O'Rourke resigned from the party post in March.)After the leaked memo, DeSantis, who in his three terms in Congress was known for cycling through political staff members, cut ties with Wiles and forced her ouster from the Trump campaign, to the alarm of many Florida Republicans who believed she provided proven political chops in the state. Wiles swooped in to turn around DeSantis' 2018 campaign after his previous team made a series of early mistakes. She was also executive director of the governor's transition.Wiles said last fall that she was stepping away from her political roles and lobbying work with Ballard Partners to deal with health issues. Several Republicans predicted at the time that she would return if Trump's poll numbers in Florida began to flag. The campaign announced her return on Twitter last week.DeSantis pitched Florida hard as an alternative convention host when the state appeared to have the virus under control in May and early June. He had suggested Orlando or Miami as host cities. But Orlando had the problem of an oppositional local mayor, Jerry L. Demings of Orange County. Demings, a Democrat, is the husband of Rep. Val Demings, who is being vetted by the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as a potential running mate. Miami has been the center of the state's coronavirus outbreak.In contrast, Jacksonville had a supportive Republican mayor and an easy permitting structure in a city that owns almost all of its own facilities. For people involved in the convention planning -- everyone except DeSantis -- the fact that it was Wiles' hometown was also a plus, because she would be available to help the city make the convention arrangements.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Seoul mayor's death prompts sympathy, questions of his acts

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The Best Smart Technology for Your Socially Distanced Summer
Ghislaine Maxwell says she hadn't been in contact with Jeffrey Epstein for more than 10 years before his death

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Mexico asks Canada to arrest, extradite ex-investigator

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An NYU pathologist says blood clots were found in 'almost every organ' of coronavirus patients' autopsies

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As COVID crisis worsens, Miami-Dade scaling back $70M program for delivering senior meals

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Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’

Officials Terrified That Trump’s Jacksonville Convention Will Be ‘Another Tulsa’Sam Newby was excited at first when the Republican National Convention decided to head to his city. But the Republican vice president of the Jacksonville City Council, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 back in March, has grown more worried as the late August convention fast approaches. There weren’t many cases in the area when the move was first announced, Newby said, but he warned that “now it's really starting to spike.”   “In a normal situation, I would be glad for the RNC to come here, I would be the first one to be there,” Newby said.“But with the spike of it, and I know what it can do, that's why I'm concerned about it coming to Jacksonville.” Trump’s drive for a Jacksonville convention is on a collision course with the rampant spread of the coronavirus in Florida. The public health situation in  the state has continued to grow worse in recent weeks, setting up the tense spectacle of the GOP holding its marquee event next month in a state that has become an epicenter of a resurgent COVID-19. “At this point, with the numbers going up, it's going to really be tough,” Newby warned in an interview. Only adding to the tension is that Trump likely needs to win Florida if he hopes to get a second term in the White House. And Newby isn’t alone in his concerns. “I don't want to see another Tulsa here," said Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat who serves as president of the Jacksonville City Council, referring to the president’s June rally. In Duval County, where Jacksonville is located, new cases in the county rose last week according to state health department data. And Leo Alonso, an emergency medicine doctor in Jacksonville, described an alarming scene in the city describing the spread of the coronavirus as dramatic in recent weeks. He’s now worried that Duval County is becoming a hot spot. “This is really a bad time to be talking about having a convention here,” said Alonso, a member of the Committee to Protect Medicare. As Florida’s coronavirus situation continues to concern officials in the state, some prominent Republican party elders have made clear that they won’t be heading to see the president’s in-person nomination speech. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley won’t head to the convention due to the coronavirus, according to The Des Moines Register.  And four other GOP senators including Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are also skipping the convention according to The Washington Post. Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNCTrump and the GOP decided to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declined to promise him a packed arena due to continued concerns over COVID-19 infections in the state. After states like Florida, Tennessee and Georgia moved to try and bring the convention to their states, Jacksonville won out. Having both a GOP governor in Ron DeSantis and a Republican mayor in the city gave the party a buffer from the fraught political tensions that emerged during the pandemic over the size of the convention itself when it was scheduled to be held in North Carolina. But following the state’s spike in cases Trump hedged on his push in a recent television interview, according to The Miami Herald, saying “we’re very flexible,” when it comes how the Jacksonville convention will turn out. Democrats have already moved for a downsized convention for former Vice President Joe Biden’s nomination, providing a stark contrast to the uncertainty surrounding what Trump’s mega-event will look like late next month. Plans now call for the president’s speech to be held late next month at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, according to the party’s announcement of the moved event. The city’s host committee told reporters this week that "everyone attending the convention within the perimeter will be tested and temperature checked each day,” according to CNN. The RNC did not respond to a request for comment this week asking how many people they expect to attend the Jacksonville portion of the convention. But the party did say in a statement that they are “committed to holding a safe convention that fully complies with local health regulations in place at the time.” “The event is still almost two months away, and we are planning to offer health precautions including but not limited to temperature checks, available PPE, aggressive sanitizing protocols, and available COVID-19 testing,”  RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in the statement. “We have a great working relationship with local leadership in Jacksonville and the state of Florida, and we will continue to coordinate with them in the months ahead.” In an interview with The Daily Beast this week, Hazouri, the Jacksonville City Council president, lamented the lack of details he knew about the convention. That feeling was also backed by the council’s GOP vice president, who said council members haven’t gotten much information. “They're not communicating with us about what they're doing. And I don't think it's particularly something that they're hiding. I think it's more that they don't know themselves what the RNC is doing,” Hazouri said. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry emphasized to reporters in a briefing Tuesday that the convention is “many many weeks away.” He also pointed to a statewide executive order by Florida’s GOP governor that he said means "facilities cannot participate in anything over 50 percent capacity." “We are acting appropriately right now,” Curry said. “We'll act appropriately at that time.” Later on in that same briefing, the mayor’s chief of staff downplayed the city council’s involvement in the upcoming convention. The city also put in place last week a “mandatory mask requirement,” that applies to both indoor and public locations, according to the announcement.  Opposition to the convention has already become clear, with News4Jax reporting earlier this week that a large group of African-American pastors had signed on to a letter calling on the city to “reconsider” holding the RNC. Even though the RNC’s marquee event will no longer be held in Charlotte, Mark Brody, North Carolina’s national GOP committeeman said he isn’t that concerned about heading to Jacksonville next month to see the president’s speech. And while the president’s June Tulsa rally deeply troubled some officials, Brody said he is still expecting the president’s nomination speech to be a major event. He predicted that “we’re going to fill the stadium,” even though he doubted that people who are seriously at risk would turn out for the event. “This is a historic one-time event,” Brody said. “I think people are going to be able to take that chance.” 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.


Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New Hampshire

Trump abruptly postpones weekend campaign rally in New HampshireHis campaign, already wary of another low turnout, blamed the decision on an impending tropical storm.


Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV network

Lawmakers vote to shut down Philippines' largest TV networkPhilippine lawmakers voted Friday to reject the license renewal of the country’s largest TV network, shutting down a major news provider that had been repeatedly threatened by the president over its critical coverage. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Franchises voted 70-11 to reject a new 25-year license for ABS-CBN Corp. The National Telecommunications Commission had ordered the broadcaster to shut down in May after its old franchise expired. It halted broadcasting then, but the vote takes it off the air permanently.


An Austin police officer appeared to grope a woman's breast after pulling her over for a traffic violation

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Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’

Kayleigh McEnany tells CNN reporter Trump will ‘always put children’s’ safety first’White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany weighs in on the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic at a briefing.


UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aid

UN fails to find consensus after Russia, China veto on Syrian aidThe UN Security Council failed to find a consensus on prolonging cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria on Friday after Russia and China vetoed an extension and members rejected a counter proposal by Moscow. Without an agreement, authorization for the transport of aid to war-torn Syria, which has existed since 2014, expired Friday night.


Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancy

Hundreds of US Postal Service delivery trucks are catching fire as they continue to outstay their 24-year life expectancyTwo separate engineering firms hired to determine the cause of the fires were unable to really find a pattern.


Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19

Caesars employees will be taken off schedule if they don't get tested for COVID-19Workers at Caesars Palace, Paris, Flamingo, Harrah's and Nobu have until July 17 to get tested. And if they can be fired if they don't wear masks.


U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000

U.S. sets record for new COVID cases third day in a row at over 69,000In Texas, another hot zone, Governor Greg Abbott warned on Friday he may have to impose new clampdowns if the state cannot stem its record-setting caseloads and hospitalizations through masks and social distancing. The Walt Disney Co said the theme parks in Orlando would open on Saturday to a limited number of guests who along with employees would be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. Disney's chief medical officer said earlier this week she believed the rules would allow guests to visit the park safely.


Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of Muslims

Xinjiang: US sanctions on Chinese officials over 'abuse' of MuslimsChina is accused of persecuting Uighur Muslims, including by locking them up in detention camps.


Outdoor Dinging Decor That's Sure to Bring Joy to Any Table 
Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ information

Dr Fauci last briefed Trump two months ago, as the top expert admits he has reputation to not ‘sugar-coat’ informationDr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has not briefed President Donald Trump in the past two months about the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge in parts of the US.Early on in the pandemic, the president would meet with Dr Fauci and the White House Coronavirus Task Force multiple times per week.


Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang members

Three LAPD officers face felony charges for falsely labeling people as gang membersAccording to a 59-count criminal complaint, three officers were charged with conspiracy, filing false reports, and prepping fraudulent documents for court.


A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episode

A man confessed secret sexual escapades to his wife during a coronavirus-related manic episodeThe 41-year-old told his wife he'd had sex with other men, and then started touching hospital staff and asking inappropriate questions.


Fourth day of virus protests in Serbia

Fourth day of virus protests in SerbiaThe protests were held as the Balkan nation announced a record daily death toll from COVID-19. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said earlier Friday the Balkan state recorded 18 fatalities and 386 new cases over 24 hours in what she described as a "dramatic increase". At the same time, Brnabic condemned as "irresponsible" protests held in Belgrade and other cities on Thursday, after demonstrations in the capital on the previous two days had spilled over into violence.


Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreak

Kazakhstan rejects Chinese warning over pneumonia outbreakKazakhstan health officials on Friday dismissed a Chinese report that the Central Asian country is facing an outbreak of pneumonia that is more deadly than coronavirus. The Kazakh denial follows a notice issued Thursday by the Chinese embassy that warned its citizens about an outbreak of pneumonia in the ex-Soviet nation that is producing a death rate higher than that from COVID-19-induced pneumonia. “This information doesn't conform to reality,” Kazakhstan's Health Ministry said.


Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.

Jared Kushner said the US would be 'really rocking again' by July. 7 states are shutting back down, and new COVID-19 cases have set records 6 times in July's first 10 days.In Kushner's confident Fox & Friends appearance back in April, he also proclaimed the US was "on the other side of the medical aspect" of the virus.


Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow Republican

Maxine Waters Foe Omar Navarro Gets Out of Jail And Attempts to Destroy Fellow RepublicanPro-Trump internet personality Omar Navarro emerged from a six-month stint in jail on a stalking charge last month, and immediately registered to run for Congress. Navarro, a perennial challenger to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), has registered to run for her seat again in 2022—assuming, perhaps logically, that Waters will once again prevail in her re-election request this November. But Navarro, who had nearly $50,000 in his campaign bank account as of March 31 even while he served his jail term, is not going to wait for those results before getting involved. He told The Daily Beast that he’s going to send out mailers this election cycle denouncing Joe Collins, the Republican nominee currently running against Waters.“Hey, I don’t agree with him,” Navarro told The Daily Beast. “I believe Maxine Waters is better than him.”Asked for comment on Navarro’s sour-grapes scheme to ruin Collins’s already slim chances of winning this fall, Collins responded  by accusing Navarro of having “daddy issues” without elaborating. "Omar Navarro is a joke,” Collins told The Daily Beast. “He has the mentality of a four year old child throwing a temper tantrum and the testicular fortitude of a mouse.” A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking ChargesThe scrapping between Collins and Navarro for the chance to lose to Waters highlights the odd incentives facing Republican challengers taking on famous incumbents in heavily Democratic districts. Running against Waters as a Republican would be a poor choice for anyone who actually wants to win. Indeed, Navarro has tried twice already, losing by more than 50 percentage points in 2016 and 2018. But for a GOPer interested in raising millions off of Waters’s notoriety as a devoted Trump foe, and increasing his profile in the pro-Trump mediasphere, it works out great. Navarro raked in donations from low-dollar contributors and saw his stature on the online Trump right explode thanks to his quixotic earlier campaigns. Even the candidates themselves acknowledge the money that’s at stake for whoever wins the right to face off against Waters. “The main reason Navarro is upset is because he's used to living off of his campaign donations and now he's facing the realization that, after being beaten by a real candidate with a shot at winning, he has to find a real job,” Collins said in his email. For Navarro, that time in the bright lights of online Trumpy fame came to a halt when he was arrested in December in San Francisco after stalking ex-girlfriend and fellow Republican personality DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, who herself was running a doomed campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Navarro eventually pleaded guilty to a stalking charge, and was sentenced to six months in San Francisco’s jail, where he claims to have lost 30 pounds. Even while imprisoned in San Francisco, Navarro kept up his political profile. And he stayed on the ballot, losing the March Republican primary to Collins by a mere 250 votes—a 0.3 percent difference in the vote total. Undeterred by that loss, Navarro has tried to recast himself since being released from jail as the latest victim of deep-state prosecutors. While other Trump supporters who faced criminal charges were involved in international intrigue, however, Navarro has been faced with claiming that he was arrested on a local stalking charge because of some secret government scheme. “Full disclosure with you guys: in the past six months, yes, I have been in a county jail,” Navarro told his more than 250,000 Twitter followers after being released from jail. Despite overwhelming evidence that Navarro violated Tesoriero’s restraining order against him, including the fact that Navarro bashed Tesoriero to The Daily Beast in apparent violation of the order, Navarro claims that he only pleaded guilty because he would have become a “political prisoner” if he hadn’t.“I wouldn’t have been judged by a jury of my peers, I would’ve been judged by a bunch of liberals, and they would have kept me locked up in there as a political prisoner,” Navarro said in his Twitter video. “And that’s not OK.” While it might seem strange for the recently imprisoned Navarro to be confident he can win the 2022 primary to challenge Waters, he is aided by the fact that Collins has a bizarre history of his own.A Navy veteran, Collins has continuously switched parties since 2016, cycling between being a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Green Party, and a member of the “Millennial Political Party.” Collins has also filed a lawsuit over child support payments that is riddled with language echoing the nonsense legal language used by members of the far-right sovereign citizen movement. At one point in his lawsuit, in an apparent attempt to deploy a fringe legal theory, Collins claimed that his bodily fluids were worth $15 million—a bizarre detail Navarro has seized on in his campaign to bring down his rival.   “You’re the guy that’s gonna take down Maxine Waters?” Navarro said in a video taunting Collins that he released in late June. “I’m sorry, but you’re not gonna do that. And by the way, your bodily fluids are not worth $15 million.” 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.


Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for life

Arrests and police raids follow Russia's vote to let Putin rule for lifeAn opposition governor was detained and several activists had their homes raided by the police on Thursday as Russia’s latest crackdown on dissent gathers momentum. The flurry of arrests and criminal inquiries follow last week’s vote in which nearly 78 percent endorsed constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay as president at least until 2036 when he turns 83. Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East who beat a Kremlin candidate at the 2018 election, was arrested by camouflaged agents of Russia’s top investigative body on Thursday morning and put on a plane to Moscow. The popular governor whose landslide win at the polls embarrassed the pro-Kremlin party, is accused of organising two contract killings as well as an attempted murder 15 years ago, according to the Investigative Committee, Russia's main federal investigating authority. Mr Furgal has not been charged with any crime. An unnamed source claiming to be linked to Mr Furgal says he has denied the allegations. Mr Furgal had been in Russian parliament for more than a decade before he won the Khabarovsk election in 2018, which has raised questions about the timing of the charges brought against him.


Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrm

Rep. McCarthy: There is a real chance GOP and Democrats can find common ground on police reofrmHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy discusses efforts for a bipartisan police reform bill.


César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in MiamiCésar Duarte fled Mexico in 2018 after being accused of embezzling millions to fund a lavish lifestyle.


Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.

Gun violence disproportionately affects minorities. Data shows it's getting worse.Communities of color have endured the weight of COVID-19, the recession and social unrest. They’re also bearing the brunt of a surge in gun violence.


A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't help

A woman who overdosed on enough caffeine powder to make 56 cups of coffee was hospitalized for a week, and doctors say her birth control didn't helpHighly concentrated caffeine supplements can cause serious or even fatal side effects; dangerous amounts of caffeine are cheap and widely available.


'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19

'Scared for my life' but needing a salary: Teachers weigh risks of COVID-19For teachers, the question is stark: Is the risk of catching COVID-19 worth continuing in a profession many love and need to fund retirement plans?


The Best Beach Towels That Aren’t Totally Boring
Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand results

Brazil bans fires in Amazon rainforest as investors demand resultsBrazil's government announced on Thursday it planned to ban setting fires in the Amazon for 120 days, in a meeting with global investors to address their rising concerns over destruction of the rainforest. The decree banning fires, set to be issued next week, repeats a similar temporary ban instituted last year when forest fires surged, provoking outcry that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the world's largest rainforest. Brazil's government, led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, had arranged Thursday's video conference in response to a letter sent by 29 global firms demanding the government stop environmental destruction that has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office at the start of last year.


Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-ahead

Texas carries out its first execution during pandemic after Supreme Court gives go-aheadTexas has executed its first death row inmate since it first confirmed a case of coronavirus after a Supreme Court ruling allowed his execution to go ahead.Billy Joe Wardlow, 45, was sentenced to death in 1993 for a robbery and murder in which he and his girlfriend tried to rob 82-year-old Carl Cole of his truck using a .45-calibre gun. Mr Wardlow fired the gun in a struggle, and Cole was killed; the couple were arrested two days later.


Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in Tehran

Iranian official issues denial after another mysterious blast reported in TehranIranian state media reported a blast in western Tehran early Friday, the latest in a string of mysterious incidents to shake the country in recent weeks. However, a senior official in that part of the city later denied there had been an explosion. State broadcaster IRIB said power was cut in several western suburbs near where online reports said an explosion occurred. It gave no further information about the cause of the blast or whether there were casualties. The governor of Qod city, Leila Vaseghi, told semi-official Fars news agency there had been no explosion but acknowledged a power cut that lasted about five minutes. It was not immediately clear if the reported incident had taken place in Qod or in a different area of western Tehran, and residents contacted by Reuters in other parts of the city said they had heard no explosion. There are reportedly several military facilities in the area which could have been the target of sabotage. A series of fires and blasts have been reported near Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent weeks. Iranian officials have said many were caused by industrial accidents. A bright flash lit up the night sky over Tehran early on June 26, apparently coming from near the near Parchin military site. Fars news agency later said the fire was caused by "an industrial gas tank explosion" near a facility belonging to the defence ministry. A defence ministry spokesman told state TV that the fire was quickly controlled and there were no casualties. But after a similar unexplained fire at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Isfahan province on July 2, officials were forced to admit there had been significant damage to the country’s primary uranium enrichment facility. A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council of Iran said the “cause of the accident” at the centrifuge assembly plant had been identified, saying more information would be released at a later date “due to security considerations”. The New York Times reported a Middle Eastern intelligence official and an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander saying the Natanz incident was caused by an explosive. The head of Israeli intelligence, Yossi Cohen, was later accused of leaking information that Mossad planted a bomb that caused the damage. On Friday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran would retaliate if it were shown an international sabotage operation had caused the explosion in Natanz. “It is still too early to make any judgment on the main cause of the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are probing into every detail of the incident,” Fars reported him as saying.


The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on Amazon

The United States does not want Cuba and Venezuela to buy on AmazonA minor nuisance that comes with U.S. sanctions is having to say goodbye to buying on Amazon.


Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden

Fox News host refuses to listen to the Trump campaign's latest attack on Biden"Whoah," the host said after a Trump spokesman claimed Biden "coaxed children up onto his porch during quarantine" and "children love his leg hair."


Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing man

Official: Police justified in killing armed, fleeing manTwo police officers in Utah were cleared Thursday in the death of an armed man shot at more than 30 times as he ran from police, a decision that prompted his grieving family to heighten their calls for systematic changes to law enforcement. The killing of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, has become a rallying point for protesters in the state amid a national wave of dissent against police brutality. District Attorney Sim Gill said Palacios-Carbajal was struck 13 to 15 times as he ran away from Salt Lake City police officers who were investigating a gun-threat call and had yelled for him to drop a gun.


Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimi

Doctors found a worm over an inch long inside a woman's tonsil after she ate sashimiA woman in Tokyo went to the hospital complaining she'd had a sore throat after eating sashimi. Doctors found a black worm inside her tonsil.