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Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon surges to 12-year high
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon surged to a 12-year high in the year between August 2019 and July 2020, according to the country's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
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edition.cnn.com
Iran Advances Nuclear Program While Demanding International Action on Top Scientist's Assassination
Iranian officials are furious after the killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh—widely considered the father of Iran's atomic program—last week.
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newsweek.com
China Not Sorry for Doctored Pic of Australian Soldier Killing Afghan Child
China has doubled down on its position after a controversial tweet by "Wolf Warrior" diplomat Zhao Lijian caused a row between Canberra and its largest trading partner on Monday.
newsweek.com
'Virgin River': Everything the Cast and Crew Has Said About Season 3
"Virgin River" Season 3 may already be in production if reports are to be believed, and the Netflix series' team has given some juicy hints about what fans can expect.
newsweek.com
Biden’s Cabinet Picks, Part 1: Janet Yellen
A look at the president-elect’s choice of Treasury secretary and how she might tackle the pandemic-provoked financial crisis.
nytimes.com
Fauci Tells Zuckerberg COVID Pandemic Won't End Unless 'Overwhelming Majority' Get Vaccinated
"As long as you are susceptible, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution," the nation's top infectious disease expert said in an interview with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg Monday.
newsweek.com
POLITICO Playbook: Trump’s making a list, checking it twice
And Republicans start to get used to living with a Democratic president.
politico.com
'Dubai Ride' cycle challenge sees cars make way for bikes
Sheikh Zayed Road filled with 20,000 cyclists taking part in a 14-kilometer community ride, as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.
edition.cnn.com
'Tis the season to follow these wise shopping tips, anti-fraud precautions
The holiday season is when many consumers can really dig themselves into a financial hole. Here are some seasonal risks to beware of.       
usatoday.com
Letters to the Editor: The racist 'superpredator' lie is still killing Black people
The "superpredator" trope invented in the 1990s is still being used to brutalize young Black men who pose no risk to anyone else.
latimes.com
Editorial: It shouldn't take squatters to compel California to act on homelessness
By taking over houses owned by Caltrans, activists have shined a spotlight on the housing crisis.
latimes.com
Cal Thomas: Government's assault on faith and conscience is far from over
In the United States, the threat to religious liberty has been under siege for some time.
foxnews.com
A D.C. lawyer learned English as a child from a teacher who tutored her each day. She found her to say thank you.
“To this day, I don’t know how far behind I would have been if no one had done that,” said Ana Reyes, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly.
washingtonpost.com
Ranking the best NFL coaching jobs that could be available this offseason
This season could produce lots of NFL coaching turnover. These are the best of the jobs that could be available.
washingtonpost.com
'Black Lives Matter at School’ — a new book on antiracist work in education
Plus two excerpts.
washingtonpost.com
Supreme Court weighs child-slavery case against Nestlé USA, Cargill
Human rights advocates are seeking to hold Nestlé USA and Cargill responsible for the mistreatment of six Malians who say they were trafficked as children to work on cocoa farms.
washingtonpost.com
Thinking of removing that load-bearing post in your home? You’d better hire a structural engineer first.
ASK THE BUILDER | To give a frank answer to the key question here: No, a reasonably handy homeowner with a decent array of tools can’t do this job by himself.
washingtonpost.com
Even Exxon Mobil Is Capitulating to Peak Oil Demand
The most stalwart of producers seems to be having doubts about the future of crude.
washingtonpost.com
Letters to the Editor: Frank McCourt wants to ruin a new park. Don't let him, L.A.
Los Angeles needs more open space, not less. Allowing Frank McCourt to build a gondola over a new downtown-adjacent park would be a huge step backward.
latimes.com
Editorial: The Supreme Court should reject Trump's cynical attacks on the census
The Supreme Court needs to reject President Trump's ahistorical effort to exclude people living here without permission from congressional reapportionment.
latimes.com
Is Facebook Matching Giving Tuesday Donations in 2020?
What are the company's plans on the day meant for giving?
newsweek.com
When Do Student Loan Payments, Interest Resume? Trump Executive Order Set to Expire This Month
If Trump and Congress fail to act on student loans, payments and interest will resume on January 1.
newsweek.com
Giving Tuesday 2020: What It Is, How to Celebrate and Take Part
Giving Tuesday, The worldwide day of generosity and selflessnessm takes place every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
newsweek.com
Israel Aims To Make Iran's Nuclear Program a Risky Venture | Opinion
Israel is putting Iran's nuclear scientists on notice that their chosen vocation could turn out to be downright hazardous to their health.
newsweek.com
Miles Taylor spoke out against Trump as ‘Anonymous.’ Now he’s gone public and is hiding out.
The whistleblowing insider known for his explosive New York Times column is hoping to reshape the Republican Party.
washingtonpost.com
The Dark, Confusing December Ahead
Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here. Here is what we know about the state of COVID-19 as we approach the winter holiday season.On Thanksgiving Eve, more than 1 million passengers cleared airport security, the highest single-day volume since the coronavirus reshaped American life in March. While airplanes are not likely settings for super-spreader events, everything before and after people step on a plane is somewhat risky. This includes parents shouting at their misbehaving kids in security lines; individuals munching on Auntie Anne’s pretzels, masks dangling from their chins, in departure-terminal crowds; and, most importantly, extended families swapping sweet-potato pie and invisible pathogens over the dinner table in poorly ventilated homes. A holiday surge on top of the calamitous autumn surge could be coming soon.What we don’t know about the new stage of coronavirus cases—and what we will not know for several days or even weeks—is just as important to spell out.[Read: A tragic beginning to the holiday season]On a typical weekend, every part of the U.S. testing apparatus takes a break. Some doctor’s offices close, so fewer people get tests. Some testing sites close, so fewer tests are assayed. And some health departments close, so fewer test results are reported. That’s why, on Sundays and Mondays, news organizations typically report a small drop in positive cases.On a special holiday weekend like Thanksgiving, the testing break is especially disruptive, writes Erin Kissane, a founder of the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Many test sites, labs, and health departments took off Thanksgiving and the long weekend. As they work through the backlog of tests in the next few days, we’ll likely see a misleading decline in cases early in the week followed by a huge surge.But that’s not all: We’re also likely to see a historic increase in testing from all these people returning from their Thanksgiving vacation. On Sunday, the White House coronavirus-task-force coordinator, Deborah Birx, told CBS that everybody who traveled should “assume that you were exposed and you became infected.” That would mean tens of millions of people trying to get tested in the next week or so, leading to a backlog on top of the backlog.In sum, the next few weeks are going to be a statistical blur at the very moment when families are looking for clarity regarding the winter holidays. As COVID-19 hospitalizations reach an all-time high, we are facing a normal weekend testing delay, exacerbated by a major holiday, complicated by the already rising COVID-19 caseload, and further burdened by the imminent wave of tests that will be demanded by people coming back from their Thanksgiving trip. For that reason, state and local governments, businesses, and families might have to fly blind for a while in the fog of pandemic.The safe assumption is that cases, hospitalizations, and deaths will all reach new highs before Christmas. The virus is simply everywhere. While the spring wave slammed into the Northeast and the summer surge swept over the South, the latest surge, while concentrated in the Midwest, is truly national. Almost every state has seen an increase in cases since September, and nearly 40 states saw COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record highs in the past three weeks. Right when Americans should have separated themselves from new exposures, millions of them shuffled and reshuffled themselves into new combinations of people. This epidemiological experiment seems destined to produce more deaths, more grieving, more illness, and more exhausted health-care workers, who were already on a “catastrophic path” before 9 million people filed through TSA checkpoints in the past week.There is some cause for optimism. Most obvious is the promising vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which are not only the fastest vaccines ever developed but also pioneers in mRNA manipulation that mark a new frontier in science. Second, the fall surge has been so dramatic that it’s pushed many state governments to adopt mitigation policies that should bear fruit for households that aren’t traveling. For example, on November 14, North Dakota’s governor finally issued a statewide mask mandate. Positive COVID-19 cases in the state peaked four days later and have since declined by 30 percent. (The decline might also have something to do with households taking additional precautions that aren’t mandated by the state.) Finally, the viral spread in some states has been so calamitous that it may have narrowed the path for worse outbreaks in the future. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has estimated that in North and South Dakota, one-third to one-half of the population might have already contracted the virus. It’s a matter of straightforward epidemiological math that a population with 50 percent antibody protection is less likely to experience a mass outbreak than a population with no antibody protection.[Read: The end of the pandemic is now in sight]But as I write, I’m reminded that optimism in a pandemic is a monkey’s paw, a gift that also curses. For the past nine months, the United States has engaged in a danse macabre between hasty fear and sunny carelessness. With the spring surge, many places locked down their population to get control of the outbreak. When the data improved, many declared victory, threw out their mask ordinances, unlocked the bars, and held a viral bacchanalia. Then the virus resurged. While several countries, such as Japan, found a way to adapt, universalize masks, reduce crowding, and enforce public quietude, the U.S. has toggled between hysterical overreaction (closing schools for young children, against the best international evidence) and an olly-olly-oxen-free approach to virus mitigation (also against the best international evidence).A vaccine is waiting on the other side of this pandemic winter. But before the temperature rises, and before the vials are distributed, Americans will have to find ways to remain safe inside, at home.
theatlantic.com
Had LGBT voters stayed home, Trump might have won the 2020 presidential election
In 2020, more U.S. voters identified as LGBT than ever before. Here’s where it mattered most.
washingtonpost.com
No one gave Ritchie Torres a shot. He'll soon be the first gay, Afro-Latino member of Congress.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee didn’t support him. The local Democratic Party didn’t support him. AOC didn’t endorse him. So Ritchie Torres of the South Bronx will arrive in Washington as a free man politically.
washingtonpost.com
The Nazi Inspiring China’s Communists
When Hong Kong erupted into protest this summer against a national-security law imposed by Beijing, the fact that Chinese scholars leaped to the Communist Party’s defense was perhaps predictable. How they argued in favor of it, however, was not.“Since Hong Kong’s handover,” Wang Zhenmin, a law professor at Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious institutions, wrote in People’s Daily, “numerous incidents have posed serious threats to Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.” The city, Wang was effectively arguing, was in no position to discuss civil liberties when its basic survival was on the line. Qi Pengfei, a specialist on Hong Kong at Renmin University, echoed those sentiments, insisting that the security law was meant to protect the island from the “infiltration of foreign forces.” In articles, interviews, and news conferences throughout the summer, scores of academics made a similar case.Though Chinese academics are often circumscribed in what they can and cannot say, they nevertheless do disagree in public. At times, they even offer limited, and careful, critiques of China’s leadership. This time, however, the sheer volume of pieces that Chinese scholars produced, as well as the nature of those arguments—consistent, coordinated, and often couched in sophisticated legal jargon—suggested a new level of cohesion in Beijing on the acceptable scope of the state’s power.Chinese President Xi Jinping has markedly shifted the ideological center of gravity within the Communist Party. The limited tolerance China had toward dissent has all but dissipated, while ostensibly autonomous regions (geographically as well as culturally), including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Hong Kong, have seen their freedoms curtailed. All the while, a new group of scholars has been in ascendance. Known as “statists,” these academics subscribe to an expansive view of state authority, one even broader than their establishment counterparts. Only with a heavy hand, they believe, can a nation secure the stability required to protect liberty and prosperity. As a 2012 article in Utopia, a Chinese online forum for statist ideas, once put it, “Stability overrides all else.”Prioritizing order to this degree is anathema to much of the West, yet perspectives such as these are not unprecedented in Western history. In fact, China’s new statists have much in common with a faction that swept through Germany in the early 20th century.That affinity is no accident.China has in recent years witnessed a surge of interest in the work of the German legal theorist Carl Schmitt. Known as Hitler’s “Crown Jurist,” Schmitt joined the National Socialist Party in 1933, and, though he was only officially a Nazi Party member for three years, his anti-liberal jurisprudence had a lasting impact—at the time, by helping to justify Hitler’s extrajudicial killings of Jews and political opponents, and then long afterward. Whereas liberal scholars view the rule of law as the final authority on value conflicts, Schmitt believed that the sovereign should always have the final say. Commitments to the rule for law would only undercut a community’s decision-making power, and “deprive state and politics of their specific meaning.” Such a hamstrung state, according to Schmitt, could not protect its own citizens from external enemies.[Read: Trump’s state of exception]China’s fascination with Schmitt took off in the early 2000s when the philosopher Liu Xiaofeng translated the German thinker’s major works into Chinese. Dubbed “Schmitt fever,” his ideas energized the political science, philosophy, and law departments of China’s universities. Chen Duanhong, a law professor at Peking University, called Schmitt “the most successful theorist” to have brought political concepts into his discipline. “His constitutional doctrine is what we revere,” Chen wrote in 2012, before adding, of his Nazi membership, “That’s his personal choice.” An alum of Peking University’s philosophy program, who asked not to be identified speaking on sensitive issues, told me that Schmitt’s work was among “the common language, a part of the academic establishment” at the university.Schmitt’s influence is most evident when it comes to Beijing’s policy toward Hong Kong. Since its handover to China from Britain in 1997, the city has ostensibly been ruled under a “one country, two systems” framework, whereby it would be part of China, but its freedoms, independent judiciary, and other forms of autonomy would be preserved for 50 years. Over time, these freedoms have been eroded as the CCP has sought greater control, and more recently have been undermined completely with the national-security law.Chen, who has written extensively on Hong Kong policy since 2014 and, according to The New York Times, is a former adviser to Beijing on the issue, cited Schmitt directly in defense of the concept of a national-security law back in 2018. “The German jurist Carl Schmitt,” he argued in an article, distinguishes between state norms and constitutional norms. “When the state is in dire peril,” Chen wrote, citing Schmitt, state leaders have the right to suspend constitutional norms, “especially provisions for civil rights.” Jiang Shigong, also a law professor at Peking University, has made a similar case. Jiang, who worked as a researcher in Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong from 2004 to 2008, employs Schmitt’s ideas extensively in his 2017 book, China’s Hong Kong, to resolve tensions between sovereignty and the rule of law in favor of the Communist Party.Jiang is also widely credited with authoring the 2014 Chinese-government white paper that gives Beijing “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong. In a nod to Schmitt, the paper claims that the preservation of sovereignty—of “one country”—must take precedence over civil liberties—of “two systems.” Using Schmitt’s rationale, he raises the stakes of inaction in Hong Kong insurmountably high: No longer a liberal transgression, the security law becomes an existential necessity.[Read: What happens when China leads the world]Carl Schmitt in 1930. (Ullstein / Getty)Chen and Jiang are “the most concrete expression thus far of [China’s] post-1990s turn to Schmittian ideas,” Ryan Mitchell, a law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in a paper in July. They are the vanguard of the statist movement, which supplies the rationale for the authoritarian impulses of China’s leaders. And though it is unclear precisely how powerful they are in the upper echelons of the party, these statists share the same outlook as their paramount leader. “Xi Jinping’s big project is on reinventing and revitalizing state capacity,” Jude Blanchette, China chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told me. “He is a statist.”Why has a Nazi thinker garnered such a lively reception in China? To some degree, it is a matter of convenience. “Schmitt serves certain purposes that Marxism should have done, but can no longer do,” Haig Patapan, a politics professor at Griffith University in Australia who has written on Schmitt’s reception in China, told me. Schmitt gives pro-Beijing scholars an opportunity to anchor the party’s legitimacy on more primal forces—nationalism and external enemies—rather than the timeworn notion of class struggle.Ideology is only part of the story, though. Another explanation is found in China’s history. In the 1930s, the country’s then leader Chiang Kai-Shek developed a deep admiration for Nazi Germany. “[Germany] was a country like China that had unified itself late,” William Kirby, a professor of China studies at Harvard University and the author of Germany and Republican China, told me. For China, a nation flanked by foreign adversaries, the German example of rapid modernization seemed exemplary. In 1927, Chiang would hire the German artillery expert Max Bauer to be his military adviser; his own son, Chiang Wei-Kuo, would serve in the Wehrmacht, the Nazi military arm, during the 1938 invasion of Austria.[Read: How milk tea became an anti-China symbol]One lesson from Chiang’s rule is that threats from abroad can stoke authoritarianism at home. And for almost a century, even as power transferred from Chiang’s Nationalists to Mao Zedong’s Communists, fear of “enemy” infiltration—the seedbed for fascism—lingered in China’s national psyche. “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” Mao asked in the very first line of his Selected Works. Later, from 1989 to 1991, 500 articles in the People’s Daily, the state-controlled paper, contained the phrase “hostile forces.” The perceived threat of invasion, or at minimum suspicion of outsiders, continues to inform contemporary politics. Such anxiety lends credence to the anti-liberal theories of Carl Schmitt, who once proclaimed that all “political actions and motives can be reduced [to that distinction] between friends and enemies.”The pandemic has further ensconced statists’ views. That China has gotten rid of the virus, which President Donald Trump called “the invisible enemy,” while the United States remains hobbled by it, is portrayed among Chinese statists as a triumph for the Schmittian worldview.“Since Xi Jinping became China’s top leader,” Flora Sapio, a sinologist at the University of Naples, wrote, “Carl Schmitt’s philosophy has found even wider applications in China, in both ‘Party theory’ and academic life.” This shift is significant: It marks a move from what had been an illiberal government in Beijing—one that flouts liberal norms as a matter of convenience—to an anti-liberal government—one that repudiates liberal norms as a matter of principle.
theatlantic.com
FAQ: What a Slack acquisition could mean for remote work
The beloved workplace chat tool Slack could be swallowed up by enterprise behemoth Salesforce. Here’s what it means for users.
washingtonpost.com
Help! I Hate My Boyfriend’s Stand-Up Comedy.
Should I tell him?
slate.com
The Pandemic Has Broken Our Marriage. Can We Save It?
A couples therapy session with lessons for any relationship.
slate.com
Miles Taylor spoke out against Trump as ‘Anonymous.’ Now he’s gone public and is hiding out.
The whistleblowing insider known for his explosive New York Times column is hoping to reshape the Republican Party.
washingtonpost.com
Argentine prosecutors investigating potential gross negligence in Diego Maradona's death
Prosecutors investigating the death of Diego Maradona say the lack of adequate medical supervision provided following surgery for a subdural hematoma was "absolutely negligent," a judicial investigator involved in the case told the country's official news Agency Telam on Monday.
edition.cnn.com
Argentine prosecutors investigating potential gross negligence in Diego Maradona's death
Prosecutors investigating the death of Diego Maradona say the lack of adequate medical supervision provided following surgery for a subdural hematoma was "absolutely negligent," a judicial investigator involved in the case told the country's official news Agency Telam on Monday.
edition.cnn.com
This Time, My COVID Patients Know How They’re Going to Die
In Northern Italy, the new wave is somehow darker.
slate.com
Cyclists take to Dubai's streets for fitness challenge
"Dubai Ride" saw 20,000 cyclists come together as part of a month-long fitness drive.
edition.cnn.com
Dear Care and Feeding: My 3-Year-Old Keeps Complimenting Me on My White Skin
Parenting advice on racism, teasing, and body image.
slate.com
U.S. School Policies Shift to Bring Back Younger Children
A consensus has emerged that in-person teaching with young children is safer, and crucial for their development. Here’s the latest.
nytimes.com
On This Day: 1 December 1953
The first issue of Playboy magazine was published by Hugh Hefner. (Dec. 1)       
usatoday.com
Heisman Watch: Florida's Kyle Trask, Alabama's Mac Jones locked in tight race
Florida quarterback and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones are the two clear front-runners in the USA TODAY Network Heisman Watch panel.        
usatoday.com
Churchgoer Gets COVID After Saying 'I'm Willing to Die for My Religion,' Wants Prayers for Vulnerable Husband
Several churches across the United States have seen outbreaks of the virus in recent months as many services resumed.
newsweek.com
An Oral History of the Longest-Ever Broadway Shutdown
What happened the night Hadestown went dark, and what it will take to reopen.
slate.com
Travelers encounter new coronavirus restrictions
Americans returning from the Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the nationwide surge. (Dec. 1)       
usatoday.com
Why VA loans may be the best pathway to homeownership for veterans
TOWN SQUARE | More VA loans were made in fiscal 2020 than were made in the combined two previous years.
washingtonpost.com
Should Eagles Drop Carson Wentz? NFL Twitter Wants Philadelphia to Give Jalen Hurts a Shot at QB
The Eagles quarterback struggled against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, throwing his 15th interception of the season.
1 h
newsweek.com
Helena Bonham Carter Says ‘The Crown’ Has a ‘Moral Responsibility’ to Admit It Is Fiction
Des Willie / NetflixHelena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s troubled younger sister, in the hit Netflix series The Crown, has said that she believes those involved with the show have a “moral responsibility” to emphasize that the show is not factual.Bonham Carter’s intervention, which comes in a new official The Crown podcast, seems likely to heap further pressure on the streaming giant to preface the show with a disclaimer along the lines of the “based on a true story” formula commonly employed in Hollywood movies. Britain’s culture minister has already urged such a move, saying of the show: “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so, as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that. Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”The newly-released podcast, which was recorded earlier in the year, focuses on the seventh episode of the show which tells the story of Margaret discovering she has two first cousins suffering from genetic disorders who have been hidden away in an asylum and declared dead.Read more at The Daily Beast.
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thedailybeast.com
Tens of thousands of farmers swarm India's capital to protest deregulation rules
Tens of thousands of farmers have swarmed India's capital where they intend to camp out for weeks to protest new agricultural laws that they say could destroy their livelihoods.
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edition.cnn.com