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  • The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back. news

    In 2008, CIA operative Stephen Stanek faced a decision: cancel the operation he was running or go forward with it — as a tropical storm barreled through the Philippines with a projection to veer north and miss his team's area of operation.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 05:00:47 -0400
  • Whose voters are 'hidden' in polling data? 'Shy' Biden voters may actually outnumber Trump’s news

    Just 20 percent of Trump voters with mostly Biden-backing neighbors say those neighbors would be surprised by their support for Trump. Among Biden voters in Trump country, however, that number is 10 points higher (30 percent).

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 05:00:14 -0400
  • Mass suspension of German police officers who shared pictures of Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambers news

    The officers allegedly shared extremist content in chatrooms and WhatsApp groups. Some face charges of spreading Nazi propaganda and hate speech.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 05:00:00 -0400
  • Juggling tropical Storms Wilfred, Beta, Hurricane Teddy and a new wave. That’s a record news

    The breakneck pace of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season claimed another record on Friday after three tropical storms formed within a 24-hour period, hitting fast-forward on the National Hurricane Center’s adoption of the Greek alphabet for storm names.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:01:10 -0400
  • Postal workers are catching COVID by the thousands. It’s one more threat to voting by mail news

    More than 50,000 workers have taken time off for virus-related reasons, slowing mail delivery

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:59:01 -0400
  • DNC receives thousands of $19.08 donations in honor of AKA news

    The DNC has nabbed over 11,000 donations in the same amount of the founding year of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Kamala Harris is a sister. The campaign to elect former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, has attracted support from what Harris has called her “secret weapon:” the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:31:43 -0400
  • Michigan residents urged to stay indoors as scientists race to deal with threat of rare mosquito-borne disease news

    ‘This is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Michiganders,’ says Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive Dr Joneigh Khaldun

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:46:31 -0400
  • Poll: Only 22 percent of Americans think the 2020 presidential election will be ‘free and fair’ news

    Just 22% of Americans believe this year’s presidential election will be “free and fair,” according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — a disturbing loss of confidence in the democratic process that could foreshadow a catastrophic post-election period with millions of partisans refusing to accept the legitimacy of the results.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 17:36:05 -0400
  • Sources: Russian aggression against U.S. intelligence satellites sparks congressional briefing news

    Over recent days, officials from the U.S. Space Force and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence briefed congressional committees on an “uptick” in Russian military activity in space targeting U.S. defense and intelligence satellites.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 17:41:04 -0400
  • T cell shortage linked to severe COVID-19 in elderly; antiseptic spray may limit virus spread news

    A lower supply of a certain type of immune cell in older people that is critical to fighting foreign invaders may help explain their vulnerability to severe COVID-19, scientists say. When germs enter the body, the initial "innate" immune response generates inflammation not specifically targeted at the bacteria or virus. Within days, the more precise "adaptive" immune response starts generating antibodies against the invader along with T cells that either assist in antibody production or seek out and attack infected cells.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:42:01 -0400
  • The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory' news

    The programs Rufo targeted are intended to improve communication, defuse tensions and promote equal opportunities among co-workers of different races and ethnicities, and are analogous, or identical to, similar programs that have been a staple of corporate human relations departments for decades.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:00:21 -0400
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Outsider’s Champion, Has Died at 87 news

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, trailblazing feminist, and the closest thing to a folk hero the high court has ever seen, has died at the age of 87. The Supreme Court announced that she died Friday due to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.In a statement dictated to her granddaughter just days before her death, Ginsburg said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”Tributes began pouring in instantly. The chief justice, John Roberts, said in a statement that the country had lost “a jurist of historic stature.”“We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her—a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”How Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Became a Rock StarAlready the subject of two recent films and countless memes, “RBG” the pop-cultural icon has perhaps obscured Ginsburg’s nearly unparalleled impact on the Supreme Court. Well before her “dissent collar,” jabots, and other decorative apparel; before the fiery dissents that rivaled those of the late Justice Antonin Scalia; even before Ginsburg ascended to the court, her place in judicial history was already assured.Among 20th-century justices, only Thurgood Marshall played such a powerful role as an advocate—Marshall in cases involving racial equality, Ginsburg in those involving gender equality.From 1972, when she co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, until 1980 when she became a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Ginsburg altered the course of constitutional interpretation. She persuaded the Warren Court to extend the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause to women. In this nearly decade-long campaign, Ginsburg was as much canny strategist as outspoken advocate. In one landmark case, for example, she represented a widower, Stephen Wiesenfeld, who had been denied child care benefits because he was male. She won that case, which advanced the cause of gender equality—in part because it showed how gender discrimination hurt everyone, not just women.Notably, Ginsburg was already in her forties during this line of cases, because she herself had borne the brunt of discrimination against women. Born in 1933 to a moderately religious Jewish family in Brooklyn, Ruth Bader quickly distinguished herself, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University, then attending Harvard Law School (famously, she was one of nine women in a class of about 500 students total), and transferring to Columbia Law School when her husband, Martin, took a job in New York City. She graduated first in her class.And yet, she was rejected from a prestigious Supreme Court clerkship, despite glowing recommendations, because she was a woman (she clerked for a district court in New York instead) and spent the ’60s as a law professor at Rutgers, specializing primarily in the dry area of civil procedure. Only in the ’70s did she find her true calling as a lawyer and professor focused on gender equality.In the ’80s, Ginsburg earned a reputation—perhaps surprisingly, given her subsequent notoriety—as a meticulous, deliberate moderate. After being nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993, she was confirmed by the Senate 96-3, despite articulating clearly liberal positions on the constitutional right to privacy—the foundation of Roe v. Wade and other controversial cases—and gender equality. (The myth that Ginsburg was somehow evasive about these issues, as Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were at their confirmation hearings, has no basis in reality.) Arguably, Ginsburg’s latter-day reputation only began to take hold in the mid-2000s, as she dissented from rulings by an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. Had Ginsburg “found her voice,” as New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse put it?  Or had the Court simply moved so far to the right that Ginsburg’s views, once mainstream, were now the subject of angry dissents? History will have to judge.There are ample materials on which to base such a judgment: dissents in cases on so-called “partial-birth” abortion (Gonzales v. Carhart, 2007), workplace discrimination against women (Ledbetter v. Goodyear, 2007), access to contraception (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 2014), and many others. “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives,” Ginsburg wrote in her Hobby Lobby dissent, sharply criticizing the Court’s holding that a corporation could withhold insurance coverage for contraception if it (the corporation) had religious reasons for doing so. This was a lesson Ginsburg had learned herself. In 1956, she was demoted from her job at the Social Security Administration when she became pregnant. (When she became pregnant with her second child in 1965, she reportedly concealed her pregnancy with loose-fitting clothes.) And now the Supreme Court had decided that a corporation’s religious freedom took precedence over women’s access to contraception. Ginsburg called it a “decision of startling breadth.”There were many such decisions in the last years of Ginsburg’s career, as the Supreme Court upheld Donald Trump’s unconscionable Muslim Ban, taking Trump at his word that it was actually a ban against various insecure countries; allowed a religious baker to turn away gay customers; and sharply curtailed voting rights across the country.In a 2018 interview, Justice Ginsburg said that her judicial philosophy had been shaped by her Jewish experience, in particular “the sense of being an outsider—of being one of the people who had suffered oppression for no sensible reason. It’s the sense of being part of a minority. It makes you more empathetic to other people who are not insiders, who are outsiders.”In an age of resurgent xenophobia, nationalism, and hate, such empathy is perhaps more crucial than ever. It is a value that ran through Ginsburg’s articles, briefs, opinions, and dissents. More than any “notorious” pop-cultural ephemera, it will be sorely missed.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 19:34:36 -0400
  • Pakistan outcry over police victim-blaming of gang-raped mother news

    A police chief's comments spark an unprecedented backlash after a woman was raped in front of her children.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 20:16:48 -0400
  • NC woman still missing two years after she left baby with family reportedly to visit sick mother in Mexico news

    Nancy Troche Garcia, 28, was last seen in Asheboro, North Carolina on May 20, 2018, when she dropped her baby off with the baby’s father. She then reportedly went to the father’s sister’s house nearby and asked her if she would help care for the baby since she would be traveling to Mexico to care for her sick mother. But her mother told police that she was not sick and there were no plans for Nancy to come to Mexico. Nancy’s burgundy 2001 Chevy Impala is also missing. The Asheboro Police

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:02:00 -0400
  • Planned Black community in Georgia draws interest for a reality TV show news

    Last week, nearly two dozen families in Georgia made headlines for pooling money to purchase land in a Georgia town with a vision to build a safe-haven community for Black people. The news garnered widespread attention, including interest from big wigs in the entertainment sphere hoping to develop a reality TV show about the forthcoming community dreamed to be Freedom, Georgia, per TMZ. The group of 19 families, led by Ashley Scott and Renee Walters, bought 97 acres of land in Toomsboro, Georgia, a rural town of about 500 people, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, about two hours south of Atlanta.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 13:05:02 -0400
  • Jerry Falwell Jr's wife called 911 saying there was 'lots of blood' after husband fell while drinking, report claims news

    Reports indicate Ms Falwell reluctant to comment on husband’s drinking to 911 dispatcher

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:41:49 -0400
  • Tens of thousands attend Bangladesh Islamist leader's funeral news

    Tens of thousands of people gathered to mourn the controversial leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamist group as his funeral was held on Saturday in a rural southeastern town, police said.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 06:05:25 -0400
  • State Department, Officials Accidentally Feature Navy Planes in Air Force Birthday Messages news

    The State Department on Friday posted a tweet to honor the Air Force, but used a photo of the Blue Angels.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:19:38 -0400
  • U.S., Guyana to launch joint maritime patrols near disputed Venezuela border news

    The United States and Guyana will begin joint maritime patrols aimed at drug interdiction near the South American country's disputed border with crisis-stricken Venezuela, the U.S. secretary of state and Guyana's new president said on Friday. The agreement comes as U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, as part of a consortium with Hess Corp and China's CNOOC Ltd, ramps up crude output from Guyana's massive offshore Stabroek block, a large portion of which is in waters claimed by Venezuela. "Greater security, greater capacity to understand your border space, what's happening inside your Exclusive Economic Zone - those are all things that give Guyana sovereignty," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a joint appearance with newly-installed Guyanese President Irfaan Ali.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:06:48 -0400
  • As Trump courts Black voters, critics see a 'depression strategy' news

    While the president’s team touts its efforts to court a community that Republicans have long ignored, critics describe them as part of a cynical “depression strategy” designed to minimize Black American turnout.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 18:57:38 -0400
  • Justice Ginsburg saw raw racism and sex discrimination long before she joined the court news

    Our Supreme Court reporter recalls the private side of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 17:16:37 -0400
  • Communist Organizers Arrested after Allegedly Barricading Officers Inside Aurora Police Department news

    Six rioters were charged by Colorado district attorneys on Thursday with allegations stemming from anti-police demonstrations in June and July.The demonstrations occurred following the death of George Floyd, who was killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. However, Colorado demonstrations also protested the August, 2019, death of Elijah McClain, an African American man who died after being put in a choke hold by officers in Aurora. Several officers in the Aurora Police Department were fired on July 3, 2020, after photos surfaced in which the officers reenacted the choke hold near the site of McClain's arrest.Riots over the summer in Aurora included a July 3 incident in which demonstrators barricaded police inside a precinct building for seven hours.Prosecutors charged Lillian House and Joel Northam, organizers for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, as well as Whitney Lucero with first-degree kidnapping in connection with the July 3 demonstration. The defendants "unlawfully and feloniously attempted to imprison or forcibly secrete 18 officers with the intent to force them or another person to make a concession to secure their release," prosecutors said in a press release. The charges were brought by the district attorneys for Colorado's 17th and 18th judicial districts, both of which are in the city of Aurora.The Party for Socialism and Liberation is a communist party that "believes that the only solution to the deepening crisis of capitalism is the socialist transformation of society," according to its website. House, Northam, and their party have led many of the demonstrations in Aurora and Denver over the summer, the Denver Post reported.Another demonstrator facing felony charges for engaging in and inciting a riot, Terrance Roberts, is a leader of a group called the Front Line Party for Revolutionary Action.Riots that began after the death of George Floyd have caused almost $2 billion in damages, according to a report from Axios, in the most expensive damage from civil unrest in U.S. history. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has called to prosecute rioters for sedition.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:08:38 -0400
  • AOC’s challenger on the left’s plan for Biden news

    John Cummings, a 2020 Republican challenger to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joins ‘Fox & Friends.’

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:22:35 -0400
  • Harvey Weinstein: Jailed movie producer stripped of honorary CBE news

    The disgraced film mogul, jailed this year for rape and sexual assault, received the honour in 2004.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:01:52 -0400
  • Mexico sees fentanyl seizures up 465%, denies making drug news

    Mexican authorities say seizures of the synthetic opioid fentanyl so far this year are 465% higher than in 2019, rising to almost 2,300 pounds (1,040 kilograms) from around 405 pounds ( 184 kilograms) last year, but progress against another big Mexican export to the U.S. market — methamphetamines — is slower. The Defense Department said seizures of meth in Mexico rose by only 32.8% between Jan. 1 and Sept. 16, but busts of meth labs dropped 51% compared to the same period of last year.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:24:18 -0400
  • CDC — again — changes COVID-19 guidelines. Now asymptomatic people need a test news

    The change replaces a controversial update from Aug. 24 that said individuals who don’t have symptoms don’t need to get tested.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:37:00 -0400
  • Pentagon sending troops to Syria after clashes between U.S., Russian military news

    The troops are meant to discourage Russians from crossing into the eastern area where U.S., coalition, and Syrian Democratic Forces operate, say officials.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:38:00 -0400
  • Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist news

    Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general's office said on Saturday. Jawar, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 08:27:15 -0400
  • Trump says Kamala Harris can't be the first woman to be president because she 'comes in through the back door' news

    President Donald Trump said Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's vice-presidential pick, had acted in "no way for a woman" to become president.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:16:23 -0400
  • Fears of a brain drain in Belarus as IT workers prepare to flee brutal crackdown news

    On the night of the Belarusian presidential elections, Andrey Fedorovich, a 27-year-old web developer with an enviable job and a big flat in Minsk, found himself lying on the ground underneath an abandoned van, hiding from riot police rampaging across the city. “I first thought about leaving when I was lying underneath that van, when I saw what kind of people live in my country,” Mr Fedorovich says. He and his wife have now decided to flee for Kyiv in Ukraine. Belarus - perhaps better known for its tractor factories - has a booming tech industry. Minsk was the USSR's designated tech hub, and now over 10,000 tech workers are based there. These workers have long enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle and were once hailed as the sole hope for the country’s Soviet-style economy.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:28:38 -0400
  • Suspects open fire on home of New Jersey police officers and newborn baby; reward offered news

    Assailants opened fire on the home of two New Jersey police officers Tuesday night, with two bullets piercing the front door.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:29:57 -0400
  • Noul turns deadly while making landfall in Vietnam news

    Noul made landfall as a tropical storm in central Vietnam on Friday leading to at least one death, as reported by the Bangkok Post.VnExpress stated that Noul prompted the closure of several airports in central Vietnam on Friday, including Da Nang's airport, which led to several dozen cancellations and delays.Noul produced 310 mm (12.20 inches) of rain in Da Nang from Thursday into Friday as the storm moved onshore.> ⛈️Tropical storm Noul has made landfall in Vietnam with strong winds and torrential rain. It's tracking west across Vietnam, Laos & northern Thailand.> > -- BBC Weather (@bbcweather) September 18, 2020CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPHeavy rainfall and flash flooding from Noul will now move inland across Indochina through the weekend.Noul (known as Leon in the Philippines) first became a tropical storm on Tuesday night as a broad area of low pressure strengthened across the South China Sea after crossing the Philippines. This satellite loop shows Noul strengthening across the South China Sea on Thursday evening, local time, before landfall in central Vietnam. (CIRA/RAMMB) Now that Noul is inland and losing wind intensity, AccuWeather meteorologists expect flooding rainfall to be the predominant concern through the weekend.AccuWeather Meteorologist Tony Zartman explains, "Even though Noul will lose wind intensity and fall below tropical storm status, it will still pose a significant flooding threat into Sunday." Widespread rainfall totals of 100-150 mm (4-6 inches) are expected from this storm with 200-250 mm (8-10 inches) of rain in the mountainous terrain across central Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and southern Myanmar. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 400 mm (16 inches) will be possible in the hardest-hit areas.The heaviest rain from Noul is expected to shift from Vietnam and Laos during the end of the week into Thailand and southern Myanmar through the weekend.This amount of rainfall as the storm tracks inland can lead to flooding and mudslides. Road closures are possible and some isolated communities could be inaccessible for several days.AccuWeather forecasters will continue to monitor Noul into the beginning of next week since what is left of the system after tracking over land is expected to emerge over the Bay of Bengal and can bring impacts to India next week.Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 06:13:22 -0400
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Obituary of the Supreme Court justice news

    US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer to women of all stripes.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 02:50:49 -0400
  • Russia's Navalny says he's now more than 'technically alive' news

    Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he is recovering his verbal and physical abilities at the German hospital where he is being treated for suspected nerve agent poisoning but that he at first felt despair over his condition. Navalny, the most visible opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on a domestic flight to Moscow on Aug. 20 and was transferred to Germany for treatment two days later. A German military lab later determined that the Russian politician was poisoned with Novichok, the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on a former Russian spy and his daughter in England, in 2018.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 07:37:35 -0400
  • China launches counter-mechanism to US sanctions list news

    China said Saturday it had launched a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities, a much-anticipated move seen as retaliation to US penalties against Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 01:38:56 -0400
  • American Airlines CEO says hundreds of thousands will lose their jobs without additional emergency aid news

    “It’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to our country," Doug Parker said about the upcoming mass layoffs in the airline sector.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:22:00 -0400
  • India arrests nine al Qaeda militants planning 'terrorist attacks'

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 04:44:34 -0400
  • 10 senators are at risk of losing reelection. It may be enough to give Democrats a majority in Congress. news

    The Democratic Party currently needs to gain at least a net four seats in the Senate to hold a majority and control over both the House and Senate.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:08:21 -0400
  • Mexico's populist president left embarrassed by failed stunt to sell private jet news

    Mexico’s populist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador was voted in on a pledge to stamp out corruption and largess that went all the way to the country's highest office. So when he pledged to sell the presidential plane, with its marble bathrooms and king sized bed, it seemed like an easy win. But the $218 million, purchased under a predecessor in 2012, jet lies on the tarmac after the latest failed bid to find a buyer in a saga that has exposed the socialist leader to ridicule and embarassment. This week's attempt to raffle the plane during the country’s Independence holiday ended in predictable disaster. For López Obrador, also known by his initials as Amlo, the plane is a symbol of the opulence and waste of the country's political elite, and he vowed to sell it and return the money to Mexicans during his 2018 campaign. After his landslide victory, the President put it up for sale and has been flying on low-cost commercial flights. But it wasn’t that easy. The jet is a used and expensive luxury item with few potential buyers. After spending nearly two years parked for sale in California and spending almost the same amount of money for having it parked than he would have spent using it (about $1.5 million), Amlo decided in February he would just raffle it off during the September 15 Independence holiday. He even had to change the law in order to raffle an item instead of money through Mexico’s National Lottery. Only the plane wasn’t his to raffle. It turned out the Mexican government hasn’t finished paying for it. Amlo moved forward with the raffle but decided to give out the cash equivalent of the jet’s market value of about $95 million instead of the actual plane, split it into 100 winning tickets.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:57:40 -0400
  • Virtual class students overhear fatal shooting between siblings, Wisconsin cops say news

    A teacher called 911 after the shooting.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:20:59 -0400
  • Joe Biden's head-scratching pandemic performance news

    Each week, the Trump campaign says, its staff and volunteers knock on one million American doors. And each week, the Biden campaign knocks on zero.Democratic nominee Joe Biden's team has no plans to begin door-to-door canvassing because of COVID-19. "If you asked anybody off the record from the Biden campaign, I think they'd be like 'Yeah, we want to be on doors.' The reality is we still have a pandemic going on," Jason Henry, leader of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, told Politico. "Those conversations are still being had because we want to make sure we do this safely."That's a prudent and admirable desire. But deciding against door-knocking isn't safety. It's security theater, and it may well do the Biden campaign more harm than good."Security theater" is a term coined by Bruce Schneier, a tech security expert who lectures at Harvard, and its original context was the war on terror. As Schneier defines it, the phrase "refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security." Early in the pandemic, condemnation of Florida's decision to open its beaches was security theater, as outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is extremely unlikely with basic social distancing. A more classic example is the TSA. Most of its procedures — like body scans — do little to protect air travel from terrorism, but they make the public feel like something is being done.That feeling is nice, and politicians like to provide it in hope we'll will accord our votes to the source of our nice feelings. "The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders," Schneier explained a decade ago. "When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense."Declining to door knock because of COVID-19 doesn't make any sense. This is an activity easily done safely. It is usually outdoors, where risk of transmission is low. (Skipping apartment buildings with indoor hallways would be a reasonable precaution.) It can be performed in a mask, and it does not require participants to get within six feet of each other. The literature handoff can be done at a distance — a volunteer could place the paper on the ground for the voter to pick up instead of handing it to them directly — and thus is no riskier than receiving mail or the contactless literature drops the Biden campaign plans to start soon. The interactions are brief, a few minutes at most. In every way, this is a safe activity with a minimal risk of coronavirus transmission. Canceling door-to-door canvassing "for safety" is security theater, nothing more.It's also just bad campaign strategy. Studies show most campaign activities are remarkably useless, particularly in general elections at the federal level. Very few voters are persuadable. Campaigns spend enormous sums of money for incredibly little change in support or turnout. However, though the evidence is conflicting, door-knocking performs better than any other standard means of mass voter contact, particularly if the conversations are substantive and memorable. Canvassing can even be cheaper in terms of votes secured than methods like direct mail and phone banking. The Biden campaign says it's focusing on "conversations," and maybe phone calls and texts will prove as effective as canvassing, but that's quite a gamble — and a needless one.Intriguingly — though unsurprising given the hyperbolic, performative nature of campaigning — Biden's COVID-19 policy plan is generally not security theater, at least not indisputably so given basic agreement that the pandemic is real and should be mitigated. The promise to "[i]nvest in next-generation testing, including at-home tests and instant tests" is excellent, though the verb is wrong: The reason we don't have home testing is not scarcity of investment but excessive federal regulation.I might apply the security theater label to Biden's proposal to create "a Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt's War Production Board." I'm not sure how this differs from his suggestion of a "Supply Commander" or extant federal orders, and the proposal seems primarily designed to link Biden to a revered president past. I'd certainly apply the label to Biden's national mask mandate, not because masks don't work (they do) but because the mandate won't work. It's unlikely to survive legal challenge. Moreover, governors who haven't issued mask mandates would very possibly tell police in their state not to enforce Biden's order, particularly if a court case were already underway. The constitutional and enforcement realities turn a national mandate into security theater.Biden doesn't need these theatrics to model responsibility. He doesn't need to promise a probably impossible mandate or sacrifice door-to-door canvassing. His campaign already has a slew of other COVID-19 precautions, many very visible, that advertise his position well. Anyway, the first pledge in Biden's COVID-19 plan is that he'll "[l]isten to science." Well, science says brief, masked, no-contact, outdoor interactions are safe. Eschewing door-knocking is useless drama.More stories from How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 05:45:02 -0400
  • Hong Kong Pro-democracy Activist Nathan Law Wins TIME’s 2020 TIME100 Reader Poll news

    TIME asked readers to vote for who they thought should make the 2020 TIME100 list, an annual compilation of the world’s most influential people. Nathan Law, a leading pro-democracy activist and the youngest lawmaker in Hong Kong’s history, took first place in TIME’s poll with 3.8% of the 4.7 million votes cast by readers. Law made news in July when he revealed that he fled Hong Kong after China imposed a new, controversial national security law making separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries criminal offenses—an attempt at cracking down on Hong Kong protests.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 10:37:27 -0400
  • It’s Time to Rein in the Fed news

    At the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s virtual Jackson Hole economic-policy symposium, Fed chairman Jerome Powell drove a final stake into the legendary inflation fighter Paul Volcker’s Fed. The new orthodoxy promises easy money as far as the eye can see and holds that inflation is good -- not Venezuelan and Zimbabwean hyperinflation of course, just a moderate dose -- thus ensuring that a dollar every year is worth less. Americans should be afraid.Powell announced the Fed’s new inflation-averaging strategy. The central bank is changing how it defines and attempts to achieve the 2 percent inflation target, which it adopted on its own authority in 2012. Henceforth, the Fed will attempt to catch up for past inflation shortfalls. Powell warned that inflation below “its desired level,” which our enlightened central bankers have decreed is 2 percent, can lead to an “unwelcome reduction” in inflation expectations, causing lower inflation. Joe and Sally Sixpack, however, would view gas, steak, and dental check-up prices not rising as welcome.Additionally, the Fed chairman declared the central bank would not, as it has in the past, preemptively raise interest rates to stave off higher inflation when unemployment falls below its natural rate.The new policy has an asymmetric pro-inflation bias. America’s central bankers are not contemplating deflationary policies to offset excessive past inflation. If inflation were 5 percent in period one, the Fed would try to bring it down to 2 percent in period two, not to negative 1 percent.The Fed is a masterful political actor. Powell touted “The Fed Listens” events as “connecting with the American people.” All well and good, but it is Congress, which represents the American people, that the Fed is supposed to heed.The Fed isn’t independent or the policymaker. It is an instrument of Congress, which by statute directs it to conduct monetary policy to achieve “stable prices,” maximum employment, and moderate low-term interest rates. Stable prices mean inflation hovering around zero, not prices doubling every 35 years. If a 200-pound MMA fighter’s weight increased 2 percent every year to 244 pounds after a decade, nobody would suggest his weight was stable.Shame on the Fed for “redefining” its role under the law. But shame on Congress for not insisting the central bank hew to statute.If Congress wants inflation, it should pass legislation changing the Fed’s mandate to that effect, which President Trump or Biden would likely sign. But while many congressional cravens may want inflation, few want to go on record voting for it.Powell allowed, “Many find it counterintuitive that the Fed would want to push up inflation.” No kidding. Money is a unit of account, a means of exchange, and a store of value. Stable money is a sine qua non of stable, prosperous, free societies. There’s enormous value in the dollar remaining constant for consumers and firms planning, transacting, and saving. Imagine a world where a yard continually changed.The received wisdom is that deflation is bad. Precipitous deflation is harmful. However, gentle deflation benefits many firms and individuals. During much of the 19th century the U.S. enjoyed mild deflation.To bolster inflation the Fed is keeping real wholesale interest rates negative.Interest rates are the price of present versus future investment and consumption. They are the economy’s most important price, dynamically signaling where and when capital should be allocated to maximize value.Keeping interest rates artificially low, as the Fed has done for nearly two decades, causes systemic malinvestment, incentivizes excessive risk-taking, and sustains zombie firms, making society poorer, and is sowing the seeds for the next crisis. It punishes savers and creditors.There are, however, powerful constituencies for easy money. America’s biggest borrower, the federal government, loves it. Real-estate developers and brokers and much of Wall Street also vigorously support cheap debt.With everyone focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, inflation is low on people’s list of concerns, but it’s brewing. From December 2019 to August 24, 2020, the monetary base (M1) increased 35 percent. The Fed’s real benchmark interest rate is negative. The pandemic has crimped production. As America limps out of the crisis and the velocity of money -- the rate at which money turns over -- recovers, it’s a recipe for inflation.Since the Fed’s creation in 1913, its policies have massively debased the dollar and caused or contributed to multiple economic crises, including the Great Depression and the Great Recession, devastating job and wealth creation. While the central bank can affect price levels, easy money can’t increase sustainable long-term employment and wealth. Congress should, therefore, eliminate any doubt about what the Fed can and should do by doing away with its “dual” mandate, narrowly focusing it on maintaining stable prices, something that it is equipped to deliver.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 06:30:11 -0400
  • Canada abandons free trade talks with China: minister news

    Canada has walked away from free trade talks with China amid soured relations over a Huawei executive's arrest and the detention of two Canadians in apparent retaliation, foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a newspaper interview Friday.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:26:17 -0400
  • Homes burned as winds push California fire into desert floor news

    Strong winds pushed a wildfire burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles onto the desert floor and spread it rapidly in several directions, causing it to explode in size and destroy homes, officials said Saturday. Meanwhile, officials were investigating the death of a firefighter on the lines of another Southern California wildfire that erupted earlier this month from a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender. The death occurred Thursday in San Bernardino National Forest as crews battled the El Dorado Fire about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:13:02 -0400
  • Masks requirement for CT day care facilities news

    Face masks are now being required in Connecticut for children 3 and up while attending day care.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:19:41 -0400
  • "Big mistake": Trump’s favorite pollster tells Fox why GOP shouldn’t push nomination before election news

    Conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen warned Republicans it would be a bad idea

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 16:30:19 -0400
  • 'They should have let us die in the water': desperate Lebanese migrants sent back by Cyprus news

    Mohammad Ghandour never thought he'd be one of them. "In Lebanon, we are being killed by poverty," Ghandour told Reuters this week, from his mother's cramped three-room apartment where he was staying with 12 other family members. Ghandour, 37, is one of dozens of Lebanese who've attempted the journey since late August, when rights groups say a rise in the number of boats leaving Lebanon began.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 07:09:56 -0400
  • Rochester shooting: Two dead after mass shooting in New York news

    The city has been under pressure over the death of Daniel Prude, a black man restrained by police.

    Sat, 19 Sep 2020 10:32:53 -0400
  • Tesla driver charged for appearing to be asleep with the seat fully reclined while traveling at over 86 mph news

    Canadian authorities said the man was going over 86 mph before being stopped, where police discovered fully reclined seats.

    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:42:05 -0400
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