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The rise and humiliating fall of Jeff Sessions, a cautionary tale for other Republicans
What happened to Jeff Sessions underscores why Senate Republicans aren't ditching Trump anytime soon.
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'Dancing with the Stars' announces Tyra Banks will replace Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews
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Glee Creators Pay Tribute to ‘Our Friend’ Naya Rivera, Plan College Fund For Her Son
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Help! My Boyfriend Refuses to Tell His Ex-Wife About Me.
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Boy, 16, was given estrogen for behavioral disorder while in L.A. juvenile hall, suit alleges
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The Many Dimensions of Bruce Lee
Perhaps the purest distillation of Bruce Lee’s cinematic presence is when he snapped Chuck Norris’s neck at the end of a battle in the Roman Colosseum. It’s the climactic showdown in The Way of the Dragon—the only movie Lee directed and the last film released in his lifetime. It’s also one of the few times in Lee’s career when his character faced a worthy opponent. In the scene, Lee approaches Norris, who plays a karate master, with a series of formal kicks before getting knocked to the ground. Back on his feet, Lee’s character starts mixing up his fighting style, bests Norris, and gives him the chance to surrender. When Norris refuses, a regretful Lee kills him, later placing the dead man’s clothes and black belt atop his body as a sign of respect.The Way of the Dragon, which was written as well as directed by Lee, is an odd film, one that’s far more light-hearted and outwardly funny than the rest of his oeuvre. But that fluid, surprising fight with Norris—an international karate champion and real-life friend of Lee’s who went on to become an onscreen hero in his own right—isn’t just a thrilling movie moment. It’s also an expression of Lee’s philosophy as an artist and the creative control he wielded in his projects. Though his enduring pop-culture image is that of a stoic, indestructible warrior, his films portray him as a much more nuanced hero.Lee only ever starred in five movies, yet those works still capture his multidimensionality, says Curtis Tsui, the Criterion Collection producer who assembled a new box set featuring remastered editions of Lee’s greatest hits. The Way of the Dragon is a particularly revealing film. “If you look at the way that final fight scene is staged, Lee goes in with a rigid form, and Chuck Norris basically wipes the floor with him,” Tsui told me. Then Lee shifts gears; he becomes less predictable, embracing his famous approach of “being water.” “That's when he wins,” Tsui explained. “He rips out Norris’s chest hair. He sees a little kitten playing around and gets the idea to limber up. That [scene] expresses not just Bruce Lee the badass, Bruce Lee the action hero, but also Bruce Lee the philosopher, the teacher. It was a very important thing to him.”[Read: What it means to understand Bruce Lee]Though he achieved real authorship over his work only at the end of his career, Lee lived his whole life in the spotlight. His work as a performer began when he was a baby; his father was a Cantonese opera star, and Lee appeared alongside him many times, appearing in about 20 Hong Kong films before he turned 18. He broke through with U.S. audiences as the sidekick Kato on the short-lived TV show The Green Hornet, which was canceled in 1967. So Lee worked to create the kind of action he wanted to see, creating a more improvisational fighting form he dubbed Jeet Kune Do.“It was not until he had taken a break from acting, started teaching martial arts, and figured out who he was that he could channel that philosophy into his movie roles,” Tsui said. After founding his school, Lee traveled back to Hong Kong, was greeted as a hero, and signed a deal to appear in two martial-arts films, The Big Boss (released in 1971) and Fist of Fury (1972). They were such colossal successes that Lee was given full creative control for The Way of the Dragon. But even in those early films, Lee is a mesmerizing onscreen force, both thrillingly charismatic and an action figure unlike the martial-arts stars of the past.“[The film’s producers] wanted him to follow the action choreography they had in place, which was much more traditional and trampoline-driven. But he was still able to bring in his more gritty, realistic style,” Tsui said. “We see [that influence] now in the Marvel movies or the Mission: Impossible series, where people use martial-art styles that aren't grounded in something specific. They aren't busting out monkey-fist, or crane-style, or tai chi. There's jabs and elbows, all the kinds of UFC-type moves, and a lot of that can be traced back to what Bruce Lee was doing in his films.”Lee’s Jeet Kune Do style was built for street fighting rather than gym sparring, anticipating that one’s enemy might behave unpredictably. So it mixes in different elements, including use of the nunchaku, a weapon Lee twirls with elegantly in a number of his films. “It has zero to do with Chinese martial arts; it's an Okinawan weapon,” Tsui said. “But he used it because there's nobody better who can use it as beautifully as he does. He just had this inherent knowledge for what would look great on a wide screen.” That cinematic eye is on display in The Way of the Dragon—Lee’s directorial style includes a lot of dramatic zooms, but he also lets fights play out in wide shots, with as few cuts as possible, emphasizing athletic grace as much as physical force.The Criterion set includes The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon, and the bizarre and bowdlerized work Game of Death, which was assembled using rough footage from a film Lee never got to complete, because of his death in 1973. The collection also features a beautiful restoration of Enter the Dragon (1973), the apex of Lee’s career as a star and the final movie he completed, which was produced by Warner Bros. after the phenomenal box-office grosses of his Hong Kong work. It’s certainly his best-known film, made with high production value and presented as a James Bond–esque caper. To Tsui, it’s also a crucial record of Lee’s speaking voice. Since it was standard practice in Hong Kong cinema for all films to be dubbed by other actors, Enter the Dragon is Lee’s only starring role in which he actually speaks on-screen.[Read: 30 movies that are unlike anything you’ve seen before]But Lee is such an electrifying presence, it barely matters. “There's a magnetism to him. It's what we talk about when we talk about movie-star power. Just that way that your eyeballs stay glued to that particular person,” Tsui said. In Game of Death, stunt doubles play Lee for most of the movie, because there was so little usable footage featuring the actor; but every time he’s not on-screen, it’s painfully obvious. Even so, Lee’s death spawned an entire genre known as “Brucesploitation,” where other actors would mimic his style, the kind of warped homage other Hollywood superstars could never have dreamed of.The most crucial lesson Tsui learned in assembling the collection for Criterion was that Lee’s image was far more malleable than many audiences might remember. The popular image of him is as an indestructible force, using only his fists to take on legions of bad guys. “He's not just the badass,” Tsui said of Lee. “He’s a Jerry Lewis fan who's very funny, he's a cha-cha-dancer champion with an amazing sense of rhythm, and he's a philosopher, someone with a very clear point of view. And it all comes through when you revisit these movies.”
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The perfect site-specific musical accompaniments for walks in and around the District.
William Clark Russell’s ‘The Wreck of the Grosvenor’ is a transporting nautical adventure
Russell may no longer be a household name, but his novels — popular in the later Victorian era — are worth revisiting.
California restaurant owner worried as new shutdown takes effect: 'We're asking for survival'
A restaurant owner in California, where businesses were recently closed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, told Fox News that the past four months have been “difficult to deal with.”
Joe Concha: Bari Weiss' resignation letter exposes 'patently toxic' culture at NY Times
Former New York Times opinion editor and columnist Bari Weiss's scathing resignation letter exposes a "patently toxic" culture at the paper, The Hill's Joe Concha asserted Wednesday.
Tyra Banks to host 'Dancing with the Stars'
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Ben Shapiro: Bari Weiss vs. NY Times 'woke' groupthink – the Great Culture Purge of 2020 marches on
New York Times columnist Bari Weiss resigned her position at the so-called newspaper of record this week.
White House orders hospitals to bypass CDC with data reporting
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Ivanka Trump posts photo holding Goya beans, draws criticism for using her position to promote a product
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A Montana Care Home Refused Free COVID-19 Tests. Now, Nearly Every Resident Has Coronavirus
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Ghislaine Maxwell is secretly married, refuses to reveal spouse’s name
Ghislaine Maxwell is secretly married — and refusing to reveal her husband’s name, prosecutors said this week at the accused madame’s bail hearing. The bombshell detail was divulged Tuesday as Manhattan prosecutors accused her of purposely hiding the extent of her wealth. “In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed...
Snoop Dogg and DMX to face off in 'battle of the dogs'
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Congress is running out of time to extend expanded unemployment insurance
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a press conference following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the Hart Senate Office Building on June 30, 2020, in Washington, DC. | Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images Lawmakers have a tight deadline for working out a compromise that could affect as many as 33 million workers. As of June, a staggering 33 million people have received unemployment benefits in recent weeks. It’s a huge figure — and one that isn’t likely to change as industries continue to navigate business closures and financial losses that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, lawmakers temporarily provided recipients of unemployment with an additional $600 per week as part of the CARES Act. That expanded unemployment insurance (UI) is set to end after July 31, but it’s become increasingly evident that the need for such support hasn’t gone away. What’s unclear, though, is whether Congress can agree on a plan to address the program’s fast-approaching expiration. The $600 boost in UI is in addition to the weekly payment an unemployed individual gets from their state, which averages out to $370 per person (but varies by state). That’s a notable increase and one that’s been vital for those who have been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic. On average, unemployment insurance has historically only been enough to make up 40 percent of a worker’s previous pay. Due to the timeline set by the original bill, the expansion in unemployment insurance isn’t slated to continue after the end of July — and thus far, lawmakers have yet to take any action to make sure that changes. This inertia is the result of an ongoing impasse between Democrats and Republicans on the subject. In their $3 trillion Heroes Act, which the House passed more than seven weeks ago, Democrats sought to extend the federal UI until the end of January 2021. Senate Republicans, however, have said repeatedly that they’re averse to supporting such a measure because they fear it could deter people from returning to work. As economists and recipients of UI have noted, however, the Republican argument misses a key point of the benefit: In part, these funds were intended to help workers stay at home — and not return to work — because staying home is safer and contributes to reducing the spread of the coronavirus. “I think there is a misplaced worry that unemployment benefits will slow the return of workers to work,” University of Chicago public policy professor Damon Jones told Vox. “In fact, it is much more likely that what will keep people from work is a lack of safety and the risk of infection of Covid-19.” Relatedly, many unemployed people don’t have jobs to go back to at the moment and need the UI support in order to cover basic living costs like food and rent as the pandemic continues. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute that was published at the end of June, 11.9 million workers are now unemployed with no likelihood of returning to their previous jobs. “My industry is just shuttered at this point,” rugby trainer Katherine Henry told Yahoo News. “I’d have no trouble working at our local Starbucks, but they aren’t hiring. Republicans say it’s an excuse not to go back to work, but there isn’t any work.” For now, the House and Senate have yet to determine whether they’ll do away with the UI expansion altogether or find some compromise that could reduce the amount people receive. Lawmakers will return to work on July 20 and will have a few weeks to hammer out a proposal before they’re expected to leave again for recess on August 10. But this down-to-the-wire timing leaves millions of workers mired in uncertainty about what comes next. Nick Parisi, 28, an IT worker who is currently relying on UI to cover rent after getting laid off earlier this spring, told Vox, “The idea of having to worry day by day if an extension will be provided to us citizens is the absolute worst feeling that anyone could experience.” A few potential compromises have been floated, with negotiations to start in earnest next week As coronavirus cases have surged in several states, forcing them to reverse business reopenings, pressure has increased on lawmakers to figure out an extension for the expanded unemployment insurance. Recently, there have been signs Republicans and Democrats could find a bipartisan solution to the problem. “We have to find a compromise because we must extend it,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend. In a departure from his past opposition to more UI, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, has acknowledged the need to include unemployment insurance in the next stimulus package. “I think you could anticipate this coming to a head sometime within the next three weeks, beginning next week,” McConnell said at a press appearance in Kentucky on Monday. McConnell, however, has offered few details on what a Republican extension plan would look like. Publicly, members of the Trump administration have floated a few ideas that indicate how Republicans could lean. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is currently in talks with McConnell, has said he’s interested in a UI expansion that does not surpass what employees would have made at the jobs they had. And White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has indicated backing for vague “unemployment reforms,” as well as payments for workers who return to their jobs. As the Washington Post has reported, some congressional aides have also discussed a reduced expansion of UI that would provide between $200 to $400 per week instead of the current $600. That proposal could be coupled with another stimulus check, like the $1,200 one-time payments Congress approved this past spring, the Post adds. “When my members come back next week, we’ll start socializing it with them,” McConnell said this past Monday of Republican plans on UI. Congress has a narrow window to get things done when it returns from recess Much like the way it has handled major legislation in the past, Congress’s efforts on UI are taking place very close to a key deadline. Since the current expansion is poised to expire on July 31, lawmakers have less than two weeks to approve an extension or alternative plan when they return to DC on July 20. That timing is not stressful only for UI recipients. It also affects states, which will have to recalibrate their UI programs to account for any potential changes. According to one economist, lawmakers’ delay in getting something done could mean that disbursement of new UI benefits could suffer as well. “[This] will cause administrative chaos if state UI agencies don’t know whether they will or won’t be continuing these payments past the end of the month,” UC Berkeley economics professor Jesse Rothstein told Vox. “If Congress does wind up introducing some new benefit level in late July, many states will not be able to get it [to unemployed people] until September.” The fallout from reductions in UI support could also be devastating. Experts emphasize that ending the expanded benefit would make more people food insecure and leave many struggling to cover housing costs. They note that consumer spending could well take a hit, too, and further depress the economy. “Once that $600 a week ends, all of those people have mortgages, all of those people have rent, they are going to have a hard time making ends meet on a regular basis,” University of Kansas economics professor Donna Ginther told Vox. Weighing the overwhelming need for more UI support will be among the central issues Congress will consider when it returns from recess next week. And until lawmakers reach a resolution, millions of people across the country remain in a holding pattern. “An extension of benefits will continue to help me pay rent, provide for my family, and put food on the table,” said Parisi. “Most importantly, it will provide assurance that I may continue to survive during these troubling times.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
Joe Biden gives a big, bold, normal speech on climate change
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A 'pandemic of historic proportions': What to know about coronavirus today
Democrats and Republicans see coronavirus differently
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From the Midlands to Madrid, the life of trailblazing Black footballer Laurie Cunningham that was ended too soon
Darren Moore vividly recalls sitting at home as an eight-year-old, staring at the television in wide-eyed amazement.
Heat expected to spread north, severe storms with tornado threats expected in Midwest
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Kanye West reportedly bows out of 2020 presidential race
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James Gunn: Velma was meant to be gay in 'Scooby-Doo' live-action, but studio pushed back
Director and screenwriter James Gunn said he tried to make Velma gay in his 2002 live-action "Scooby-Doo" remake, but Warner Bros. pushed back.
What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, July 15
Here's some good news to start your day: A Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna looks promising.