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Trump remains defiant despite controversy

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump defends his controversial comments despite mounting criticism. CBS News Correspondent Nancy Cordes discusses Trump's defiance with CBSN.
Read full article on: cbsnews.com
11 People Shot, 3 Officers Killed in Dallas
A peaceful protest of the recent officer-involved shootings was shattered by gunfire in Dallas Thursday night. The Dallas Police Department says two snipers shot 11 officers, killing three. Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings held a press conference regarding the shooting.
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cbsnews.com
7 L.A. men charged with firebombing African Americans' homes
Seven men from Los Angeles were charged with firebombing homes of African Americans in 2014. They were charged in a ten-count indictment unsealed in federal court recently. CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid joins CBSN with the latest details.
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cbsnews.com
Witness describes Dallas shootings
A witness to the shootings in Dallas describes the scene to CBS News' David Begnaud.
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cbsnews.com
Protests held nationwide over police shootings
Across the nation, protesters took to the street to protest recent police shootings in Minnesota, and La. Marlee Hall has a report.
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cbsnews.com
Billboards troll Warnock, Biden, Abrams over All-Star game as poll says public wants companies out of politics
Conservatives are doubling down on their attacks against Democrats after Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of Georgia's new elections law, arguing "lies" about the content of the law led to the decision. 
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foxnews.com
California Woman Plunges to Her Death After Parachute Fails Midair
The experienced parachutist fell to the ground on Saturday after her equipment reportedly became tangled.
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newsweek.com
7/7: Fatal police shooting of Minn. man sparks outrage; the impact of police shootings
Philando Castile was fatally shot by a Minn. police officer during a traffic stop, and his girlfriend recorded the aftermath; all of America is talking about the fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota
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cbsnews.com
Full Video: President Obama addresses recent police shootings
President Obama addressed this week's police shootings, saying Americans should be troubled by them. The deaths of two different black men at the hands of police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana was captured in videos. See the president's full remarks.
cbsnews.com
Donald Trump searches for unity on Capitol Hill
Donald Trump went to Capitol Hill on Thursday in search of party unity. He met with House and Senate Republicans, and got mixed reactions. Major Garrett reports.
cbsnews.com
NASA Ingenuity Mars helicopter makes history with first powered, controlled flight on another planet
NASA made history Monday with its Ingenuity Mars helicopter making the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet.
foxnews.com
After learning from Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Jordan Clarkson thriving as Jazz sixth man
Jordan Clarkson seems intent on emulating Manu Ginóbili, Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford who starred in sixth man roles.      
usatoday.com
Crowd gathers in Chicago to remember Adam Toledo
The group of people planned to walk around Toledo's neighborhood near where an officer fatally shot him in March.
cbsnews.com
Oath Keepers Leader Jim Arroyo Says Militia Being Trained by Police
The Oath Keepers extremist militia believes that a global cabal is plotting to strip Americans of their rights.
newsweek.com
Daniel Shaver's Widow Uses TikTok to Fight for Justice Over Police Shooting
Shaver, a 26-year-old unarmed man, was shot dead in the hallway of a hotel in Mesa, Arizona, in 2016.
newsweek.com
Politicians respond to recent police shootings
President Obama and Hillary Clinton both responded quickly to the recent deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Congressman Elijah Cummings went so far as to make a plea to the director of the FBI during a congressional hearing.
cbsnews.com
Photos: The Culture Of Whales
Belugas play, a sperm whale nurses, and orcas teach their pups to hunt in a series of photographs from National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry.
npr.org
Former NYPD detective weighs in on police shootings
Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance and former NYPD detective Marq Claxton discusses recent police involved shootings.
cbsnews.com
What NASA's Mars Ingenuity Helicopter's First Flight Means for Future of Space Exploration
"Showing something is possible is the first step in making it routine," researcher Jonathan Black told Newsweek.
newsweek.com
Minnesota Gov: "Justice must be served" after police shooting
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton spoke out about the shooting death of Philando Castile, and said nobody should be shot and killed in his state for a traffic stop.
cbsnews.com
As a megadrought persists, new projections show a key Colorado River reservoir could sink to a record low later this year
A megadrought that began around the year 2000 continues to grip much of West, and new projections show that key reservoirs on the Colorado River could sink to historically low levels later this year, potentially triggering water cutbacks in 2022.
edition.cnn.com
Eleven dead, 98 injured after train derails in Egypt
Eleven people were killed and 98 injured on Sunday in a train accident in Egypt’s Qalioubia province north of Cairo, the health ministry said in a statement. The train was heading from Cairo to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura when four carriages derailed at 1:54 p.m. (1154 GMT), about 40 kms (25 miles) north...
nypost.com
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter makes maiden flight on Mars
It became the first aircraft to fly on another planet.
cbsnews.com
Bernie Sanders plans to endorse Clinton
Bernie Sanders has been working through the process to endorse Hillary Clinton. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign have been working on this for weeks. The two campaigns are planning an event in New Hampshire.
cbsnews.com
Donald Trump meets House and Senate Republicans
Donald Trump hosted a private meeting with House and Senate Republicans ahead of the GOP convention, which is less than two weeks away.
cbsnews.com
Study shows vaccines carry much lower risk of blood clots than COVID
Research by Oxford University suggests all major vaccines carry a similar risk of rare clots, and all seem to have much lower risk than infection with COVID-19.
cbsnews.com
FBI director defends decision on Clinton email case
During a tense hearing on Capitol Hill, FBI Director James Comey defended the decisions made in the Hillary Clinton email case although he did say that he saw "evidence of great carelessness." Many spoke out in frustration at the FBI's decision to not charge Clinton for her handling of classified information.
cbsnews.com
Trump's fight with Murkowski roils GOP with new Alaska Senate challenger emerging
The first major GOP rift in the post-Trump era centers on Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the maverick Republican who has the strong backing of GOP leaders in Washington but has been targeted for defeat by former President Donald Trump and his closest confidantes over her vote to convict him for inciting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
edition.cnn.com
Live updates: Biden to host bipartisan group of lawmakers as White House continues push on infrastructure bill
Vice President Harris is heading to North Carolina to visit a community college and a manufacturer of electric school buses as part of the White House’s efforts to promote the ambitious $2 trillion plan.
washingtonpost.com
How will new police shooting investigations play out?
Two black men have been killed by police in the last week. The Justice Department has already launched an investigation into one of the deaths, and it's being asked to investigate the second. Criminal defense attorney A. Scott Bolden joins CBSN for more on the shootings' aftermath.
cbsnews.com
Sen. Thom Tillis: Biden's border crisis – he promised security, dignity to migrants. This is how he's failed
The surge of unaccompanied minors, the subpar living conditions of migrants, and the state of an overworked and overwhelmed Border Patrol have been direct consequences of the Biden administration’s failed policies. 
foxnews.com
How to watch ONE on TNT III: Fight card, start time, live stream for John Lineker vs. Troy Worthen
ONE Championship continues the most prolific month in its history this week with the third of four straight events on TNT.      Related StoriesCallout Collection: Who UFC on ESPN 22 winners want next – and how likely they'll get them3 biggest takeaways from Triller Fight Club: Loving to hate Jake Paul, and did Ben Askren dive?'The Ultimate Fighter 29' rosters announced, season premiere date revealed 
usatoday.com
TIME Partners with Crypto.com to Offer Cryptocurrency as a Form of Payment for Digital Subscriptions
Today, TIME will begin accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions through a new partnership with Crypto.com. Subscribers who elect to pay with cryptocurrency will receive unlimited access to content across Time.com for 18 months with their one-time purchase, as well as subscriber-only events and offerings. Currently, purchasing a subscription through cryptocurrency…
time.com
Exclusive: Inside the Facilities Making the World’s Most Prevalent COVID-19 Vaccine
Behind the scenes at the German facilities making COVID-19 vaccines for the world
time.com
My son has autism. Our society has gotten used to him, but it still won't include him.
Without health care and employment, and without friendships, Ryan is not living his life as fully as he could, if only society accepted him.       
usatoday.com
10 of our favorite beachfront restaurants across Florida
The best beachfront restaurants on Anna Maria Island, Clearwater Beach, Daytona, Fort Myers, Jacksonville Beach, Melbourne, Miami, Pensacola and more.       
usatoday.com
How far can Nets go if Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving aren't all healthy?
This certainly wasn't how Nets envisioned things going when they traded for James Harden in January to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.      
usatoday.com
There’s a long, global history to today’s Anti-Asian bias and violence
“Foreigners” have been blamed for pandemics and disease all the way back to the bubonic plague -- and probably before.
washingtonpost.com
The Climate Real Estate Bubble: Is the U.S. on the Verge of Another Financial Crisis?
1171 Shoreham looks much like it did when Anna Zimmerman lived there: modest but presentable. A good starter home for Zimmerman and her husband when they bought it in 2005, for a while it provided an idyllic existence in suburban Charleston, S.C., a community of friendly neighbors for their young child, a quaint backyard and even…
time.com
Lawmakers grill FBI Director Comey over Clinton email probe
FBI Director James Comey testified for more than four hours before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Hillary Clinton email investigation. CBS News senior political editor Steve Chaggaris joins CBSN to discuss details of the hearing.
cbsnews.com
What could the Nationals’ short-term rotation look like without Stephen Strasburg?
The Nationals could benefit from a handful of off days in the near future.
washingtonpost.com
Poll: Eye on Earth - can fighting climate change be good economics?
Americans weigh in on whether fighting climate change helps or hurts the economy.
cbsnews.com
CBS News poll: Eye on Earth - climate change and a pandemic year
Just over half think that a year of lockdowns and working from home during the pandemic probably helped the environment.
cbsnews.com
Colorado Elections are a Home Run | Opinion
Every American deserves the same access to vote that Coloradans have, including vote by mail, same day voter registration, early voting, ample drop boxes, vote centers and automatic and online voter registration.
newsweek.com
15 Bands That Have Reunited After Hiatus
Reunions after big break-ups are increasingly commonplace. These are some of the biggest comebacks in rock and pop history.
newsweek.com
South Korea’s Covid-19 success story started with failure
Thanks to the success of South Korea’s testing and tracing program, the country has not gone into a lockdown in the pandemic. The inside account of how one country built a system to defeat the pandemic. DAEGU, South Korea — Jo Hye-min stepped off the train and into a situation she had only seen in movies: a completely, and eerily, empty station. It was February 2020, when the threat posed by the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 was only starting to become clear in much of the world. But the situation in Daegu was already dire: Hospitals were overwhelmed and on the brink of collapsing. Hundreds of people believed to have been exposed to the virus were being isolated in private rooms. A nurse’s association in Daegu issued a plea for volunteers to help. Christina Animashaun/Vox “It felt like war had broken out,” Jo says, and the 28-year-old nurse enlisted. The national disease control agency called her at 10 pm, asking if she could be in Daegu by 9 am the next morning. She dropped off her cat with a friend and made the 60-mile trip from her home in Busan. When she arrived at the isolation facility, she was told it would be at least a month before she could leave. Jo was joining a frantic, all-out effort by South Korean officials to contain a burgeoning epidemic. A woman in her 60s, who would later become known as Patient 31, had tested positive for Covid-19. Public health authorities learned she was a member of a secretive religious movement and attended services in the days before being diagnosed, potentially exposing more than 1,000 people. Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images A Covid-19 patient getting treatment in Daegu, South Korea, on March 2, 2020. Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images Workers disinfect a public station in Daegu on February 29, 2020. Jo Hye-min was one of some 2,000 nurses who volunteered to work in Daegu in February 2020. South Korean officials made a plan. They needed to test as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to figure out how bad the outbreak was. Then they had to find out who might have come into contact with the infected people. And they needed all of those people — both the infected and the potentially exposed — to isolate themselves to prevent the virus from spreading any further. It was a three-step protocol: test, trace, and isolate. And it worked. Within a week of Patient 31’s diagnosis, the country was performing the most Covid-19 tests in the world; it implemented perhaps the most elaborate contact tracing program anywhere; and it set up isolation centers so thousands of patients could quarantine. As other countries saw their outbreaks spiral out of control, measures like these helped South Korea keep Covid-19 in check. On March 1, South Korea had about 3,700 confirmed cases; Italy, the first hot spot in Europe, had 1,700 and the US had just 32 cases, though its dismal testing meant the virus was likely spreading unsurveilled. By the end of April, Italy had topped 200,000 cases; confirmed cases in the US were already above 1 million. South Korea still had fewer than 11,000. Adjusted for population, South Korea’s first wave of coronavirus cases was about one-tenth as big as that in the United States. Christina Animashaun/Vox Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the US was considered better prepared than any country in the world to stop an infectious disease outbreak. But the first months of the pandemic response in the US were marked by now-familiar stumbles. The virus escaped containment. While South Korea tested, traced, and isolated, the US struggled, a critical early failure that cost lives. No country had a perfect response to the pandemic. Every approach came with trade-offs and caveats, and even success stories can go awry in the face of global, exponential growth. But around the world, nations took successful steps to limit the pandemic’s damage. We talked to Jo and other South Koreans as part of Vox’s Pandemic Playbook series, which will explore the successes — and setbacks — in six nations as they fought the virus. South Korea’s early,decisive action was crucial. South Korea was one of the first countries where Covid-19 was seen outside of China, before much was known about the virus at all. It seemed at high risk for an unstoppable outbreak — and instead, it staved off disaster. To date, the US ranks 10th in its total cases per capita; South Korea ranks 145th. Though it has been slower to vaccinate its population than world leaders like the US, South Korea is still seeing fewer than 700 new cases per day on average; the United States, meanwhile, is averaging more than 70,000. Christina Animashaun/Vox “South Korea was able to flatten the epidemic curve quickly,” researchers from Harvard and Seoul National University wrote in a review of the country’s response. Among the top reasons for its success: “conducting comprehensive testing and contact tracing and supporting people in quarantine to make compliance easier.” Testing capacity quickly expanded. Contact tracing began. And at the isolation center, Jo settled into a new routine, calling up to 50 patients a day to check on them. If they fell sick, she had no treatment to offer. Nobody knew what would work. They had one option: test, trace, and isolate. Patients lapsed into depression. They had nothing to do but watch TV and eat out of their lunchboxes; some people would vomit when they took their daily Covid-19 tests, administered through the nose. In the most extreme cases, a patient would stop responding to the nurses’ calls. A nurse in protective gear would enter the room and try to provide the person with more direct emotional support. “I could see the patients started to lose it mentally and emotionally,” Jo said. “I was always on alert, and the emotional care was really difficult for me.” Lab technicians package Covid-19 testing kits. People arriving from overseas receive mandatory testing for Covid-19 in Seoul on May 2, 2020. South Korea’s decisive action to test, trace, and isolate proved successful in containing the spread of Covid-19. The strategy was not without its costs, and not all of its components may be universally applicable; Americans especially already have a deep distrust of the government and government surveillance. And South Korea has made mistakes. In some cases, public officials leaked patients’ personal information. Civil rights advocates say the government unconstitutionally overreached to track people’s locations. Clusters continue to pop up, and businesses still operate at limited capacity. But the country’s response saved lives. Thousands of health care workers and millions of everyday South Koreans made the sacrifices necessary to prevent the kind of mass death seen in much of the Western world. To date, fewer than 2,000 South Koreans have died from Covid-19. The country has never issued an official stay-at-home order; subway trains and buses have been mostly packed with commuters, and people have been working in their offices as usual since last spring. Masks are commonplace, but otherwise, Covid-19 has not altered the fabric of everyday life in South Korea the way it has in much of the Western world. Nurse Jang Ga-young communicates with a patient inside the ICU at the National Medical Center in Seoul on April 14, 2020. Five years earlier, an outbreak of the MERS virus, which appeared to be even more lethal than Covid-19, led to strict social distancing protocols. The country took action after that crisis so it would be better prepared for the next outbreak. “I think back then, Koreans didn’t realize that new infectious diseases can be a threat to all of us,” Park Young-joon, a top official at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), says. “These experiences led to a change in attitude.” They were determined never to be caught off guard again. After a deadly failure, South Korea reformed its public health system In December 2019, about two dozen of South Korea’s top epidemiologists and health officials gathered at the KDCA for a training exercise. The scenario: A hypothetical coronavirus had originated in China, and a family of four was bringing the new respiratory virus into South Korea from Hong Kong. After the exercise, an internal review singled out the importance of using GPS and credit card data to track contacts with the infected patients. Another idea proposed during the simulation would also prove prescient: The country should develop testing materialsthat could be quickly adapted to any new coronavirus. The country committed to running these pandemic war games after it was threatened by two of the most frightening respiratory pathogens to appear in the 21st century. During SARS-1, in 2003, South Korea was considered a model for its decisive response. Just three people died. Then came MERS, an even deadlier coronavirus, in 2015. A man in his late 60s visited several Seoul-area hospitals and health clinics before he was diagnosed with MERS. He was likely the country’s patient zero, and he infected other patients and medical workers over a 10-day period. The outbreak, the largest outside the Middle East, led to 186 confirmed cases and 38 deaths, and highlighted weaknesses in the country’s contact tracing and quarantine programs. A year earlier, a very different disaster — the sinking of the Sewol ferry that killed more than 300 people — sparked outrage at government incompetence. South Koreans were losing faith in the government’s ability to handle a crisis. In the wake of MERS, public officials were criticized for failing to apply the lessons of SARS-1. People wanted something done. In 2015, days before the first anniversary of the Sewol ferry’s sinking, bereaved families protested the government’s interference in the independent investigation of the disaster. “People freaked out,” Kelly Kim, general counsel at Open Net Korea, a civil rights group, says. “If something bad happens, they always blame the government and ask the government to do something about it. The easiest thing is making a law.” The government passed a total of 48 reforms after MERS, all toward the goal of being better prepared for the next pandemic. The country committed to a playbook: test, trace, and isolate. Crucial changes were made to the system for contact tracing — the process where health workers talk to infected people and get a list of those they were in recent contact with, and then work outward, asking those contacts to get tested and isolate themselves. But that system only works if the patients are forthcoming. During the MERS outbreak, one man had reportedly lied to health workers about his presence at a conference attended by 1,000 other people. “It put the whole country into this crisis,” Park Kyung-sin, a professor at Korea University Law School, says. “The lesson was clear: Location tracking has to be done on a mandatory basis.” The post-MERS changes passed by the national legislature authorized federal agencies to access credit card transactions, cellphone location data, even CCTV footage if needed. People could be fined for breaking quarantine. The number of infection control staff and isolation units was increased. There was a culture change, too. Public health officials started running the periodic outbreak simulations to test their readiness. And Park Young-joon read daily status updates on emerging diseases. A few weeks after the pandemic simulation, one of those reports came from Wuhan, China, noting an outbreak of aggressive pneumonia. At first, he didn’t take the reports of an unknown respiratory virus too seriously. But then he learned the Chinese government was locking down the entire city. That was when he first believed it would spread to South Korea. “I realized this disease was different,” he says. “We felt it was just a matter of time.” When Covid-19 hit, South Korea put its new protocols in action There were still only four confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Korea on January 27, 2020, when government health officials gathered representatives from more than 20 medical companies in a conference room in Seoul’s biggest train station. The message was simple: We need tests for this dangerous new virus, as soon as humanly possible, and we will approve yours quickly if it works. After the MERS scare, the government budget for infectious diseases nearly tripled in five years, spurring a boom in the biotech sector. Some of that new funding was spent on research and development for testing kits. A week after the train station meeting, on February 4, South Korea approved its first Covid-19 test. The same day, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration okayed a testing kit designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US test would prove unreliable, setting efforts back by weeks. South Korea’s was swiftly validated at more than 100 laboratories. Companies were soon shipping thousands of test kits to labs and hospitals across the country. By March 1, South Korea was performing more than 10,000 tests every day. The US couldn’t even manage 100. When adjusting for population, it wouldn’t be until mid-April — when South Korea’s outbreak was under control — that the US would finally overtake Korea in total tests performed. Food stalls in central Seoul were teeming with visitors on May 10, 2020. The South Korean government ended social distancing restrictions on May 6. Ikseon-dong, a trendy district in central Seoul, on the same day. By mid-April 2020, South Korea’s outbreak was largely under control. The surge in testing capacity came just in time. Patient 31 was about to figure into the country’s first known superspreader event, which would stretch Korea’s ability to rapidly test for Covid-19, trace the contacts of infected people, and isolate them. On February 17, the patient, a woman in her 60s, tested positive for Covid-19 and was interviewed about her recent movements. Korean officials quickly realized they had a crisis in the making. The woman had traveled between Seoul and Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city, in the days before testing positive. She also attended services at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an insular Christian group based in Daegu. Park Young-joon, as the head of epidemiological investigations at the KDCA, was quickly dispatched to Daegu. The government set up testing centers all across the area, including drive-through sites that could perform three times as many tests as regular clinics. After public pressure, the church group handed over a list of its members for contact tracing. Conscripted military personnel were called in to help. Park Young-joon, a senior epidemiologist at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency in Osong-eup, 70 miles south of Seoul. Within days, hundreds of church members had tested positive. Park Young-joon decided the best way to contain the outbreak was to isolate everyone who may have been exposed. Thousands of people, tracked down through security footage and phone data, were urged to self-quarantine. The government struck a deal with Samsung and LG to transform their training dormitories into isolation centers for people deemed at higher risk. Noncompliance came with a hefty fine: more than $8,000 US. The call went out to nurses like Jo Hye-min, pleading for volunteers to staff the isolation centers. More than 3,000 patients would enter the facilities during the month of March. The country’s outbreak quickly leveled off. After averaging more than 500 new cases every day during the first week of March, the rate of daily new cases slowed dramatically. Over the first week of April, South Korea saw about 500 new cases total. “We did an impossible task,” Jo says. “It was as though we built the Great Wall in a week.” But Covid-19 wasn’t gone. The next big scare arrived a month later, in early May: a cluster of infections linked to the Itaewon nightclub district. The clubs had reopened on April 30 — and by May 6, several cases were confirmed among people who had partied at one of them. Jang Hanaram, a member of the military doing contact tracing work in Seoul, was put on the case. Jang says he was soon working 24 hours a day while sleeping in the bunk bed in his office. His days were a blur of phone interviews: He estimates that at the height of the effort, he was making more than 200 calls without a break. Tracing contacts from the Itaewon outbreak added an extra degree of difficulty: Some of the nightclubs were favored by the LGBTQ community. There is still a lot of discrimination against LGBTQ people in South Korea, and people were not always forthcoming about where they’d been and whom they’d been in close contact with for fear of being outed or outing others. Contact tracer Jang Hanaram in his office, where he has slept when working 24-hour shifts. Jang and his teammate work on contact tracing Covid-19 cases inside Incheon’s City Hall. One man, Jang says, lied to him during a contact tracing interview. But he and his team had other options. He could pull the man’s credit card and GPS data instead. “Even when people weren’t so cooperative, we can find out where this person went and when,” Jang says. By the end of May, using cellphone location data, South Korean authorities had identified nearly 60,000 people who had spent at least 30 minutes in the vicinity of the Itaewon nightclubs between April 30 and May 6. Those people were simply urged to get tested. But another 1,200 deemed to be at higher risk of exposure were required to self-quarantine while being monitored by the government. Those patients checked in with health workers over a smartphone app; the government also sent them groceries and toiletries, and offered them psychological counseling. Ultimately, the Itaewon cluster was linked to just 246 cases, and overall caseloads stayed well below what was seen in Daegu. The country didn’t see a second significant wave until late August, ignited by the protests of another church group. But the extraordinary phone surveillance required to identify the 60,000 possible contacts in Itaewon has come under scrutiny from civil rights advocates, who saw some of their fears about the powers granted to the government in 2015 coming true. “This was not the use envisioned by the people who passed the law after the MERS outbreak,” Park Kyung-sin says. Privacy advocates worry about how much information the government can get — but it’s a “lonely fight” South Korea’s epidemic response is distinct from that of the US and almost every other country in the world in one important way. In the US, disease investigators must rely on interviews and, in theory, opt-in phone tracking apps, though those have struggled to attract enough users to be effective. In South Korea, cooperating with contact tracing isn’t done out of altruism, though everybody we spoke to stressed that South Koreans do feel a strong sense of civic responsibility. It’s the law — and if you refuse to comply, the authorities can get your financial or location data anyway. No such legal obligation exists in the US. “The right to collect and use very personal information was an essential part of the [2015] legislation,” Park Young-joon says. South Korea’s government has stretched that authority as far as it can go during the current emergency — beyond what is legally permissible, according to some civil rights lawyers we spoke with. During the Itaewon outbreak, for example, the public health authorities didn’t just notify the people who had come into close contact with the patients who later tested positive. They used phone location data to alert anybody who was in the area of their potential exposure, which South Koreans focused on privacy rights saw as a serious overreach. Park Kyung-sin explains the difference with an analogy about how police might investigate a crime: Normally, investigators get a warrant to follow specific people, targeting specific phone numbers. But what South Korea did in Itaewon, he says, was more comparable to the National Security Agency surveillance exposed by Edward Snowden. Anybody who was within a certain area, no matter the individual risk of exposure, had their location data scooped up by the government. “When that’s done against your consent, that is a problem,” Park Kyung-sin says. “We are not really fighting the law but the use of the law.” Contact tracers in Seoul look at CCTV footage at a pharmacy in February 2021. A person confirmed to have Covid-19 had visited a few days earlier. The tracers, Kim Se-eun and Lee Young-wook, check their next destination on their phones after visiting the pharmacy. Fieldwork is often essential in tracing a Covid-19 patient’s past whereabouts and determining the level of infection risk for those who came in contact with the patient. Kim takes a photo of a credit card receipt for a confirmed Covid-19 patient that she obtained from a convenience store. One man who lied to contact tracers after the Itaewon outbreak was a teacher who worried about the consequences if people found out he was gay. Because he misled investigators, he was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail. A couple of months after the Itaewon outbreak, Park Kyung-sin and his colleagues at Open Net Korea filed a constitutional challenge against the government’s use of the 2015 laws, asking for restrictions on mandatory location tracking and clear commitments from the government about deleting information. And yet, broadly speaking, the public has accepted the measures. About nine in 10 South Koreans said in May 2020 that they supported disclosing patient location information. Attitudes may be changing as the pandemic drags on — Park Young-joon said he and his colleagues have noticed a decline in support — but most people continue to comply. “Most Koreans are willing to compromise their privacy for their life,” Kelly Kim at Open Net Korea, the civil rights group, says. For privacy advocates, “it’s been a really hard fight, a kind of lonely fight.” South Korea’s system worked because it acted early South Korea’s citizens don’t regard the country’s response as perfect. They have endured their share of strife. Park Jeong-uk, a pub owner in Seongnam, saw his monthly revenue drop by 50 percent during a small wave of cases in August. A winter surge that necessitated more social distancing measures was even harder. He had to let two part-time workers go, and has taken out bank loans he’ll have to start paying back soon. He lost a lot of sleep. But he’s feeling pretty optimistic these days. Park Jeong-uk disinfects a table after the 10 pm mandatory closing time at his pub in Seongnam, a city southeast of Seoul. “Despite the shortcomings, I agree the Korean government did their best, given the circumstances,” Park Jeong-uk says. “And Koreans did an excellent job cooperating with the government. Most people trusted the government and followed the protocols.” In some ways, South Korea simply may have lucked out. It is almost like an island, sharing only a militarized land border with North Korea, making it easier to isolate and monitor incoming travelers. Its people were better acquainted than most with social distancing measures, having lived through MERS. There is generally a lot of government surveillance that may have inured people to their private actions being fodder for public health monitoring. Contact tracing alone isn’t a panacea. The US struggled on the first step in the test-trace-isolate process, when the first CDC testing kit failed, and that allowed the virus to spread undetected. By the time testing was closer to adequate levels, infections were so widespread it would have been extremely difficult to conduct comprehensive contact tracing, especially without the extraordinary tools available in South Korea. Testing, tracing, and isolating is a good way to put out small fires, as the preferred metaphor among epidemiologists goes. Once the whole forest is ablaze, it loses its utility. But that is also the point. South Korea saw a small fire spring up in Daegu in February 2020 and focused the full power of the government on stamping it out — then watched to ensure no new sparks would create a conflagration. Those efforts succeeded. “We’ve been training for this,” Jang Hanaram says. “We are in this together; our community comes first. Koreans have really stepped up.” In March 2021, visitors walk outside the Jogyesa Temple in downtown Seoul, where lotus lanterns are hung in celebration of the Buddha’s birthday. Jun Micheal Park is a documentary photographer and filmmaker from Seoul. He has extensively covered South Korea’s Covid-19 response. This project was supported by the Commonwealth Fund, a national private foundation based in New York City that supports independent research on health care issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy.
vox.com
The Pandemic Playbook
Senegal, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam (clockwise from top left). | Ricci Shryock,Jacobia Dahm, Jun Michael Park,Linh Pham for Vox Vox explores the successes — and setbacks — in six nations as they fought Covid-19. Before last March, the United States was considered better prepared than any country in the world to contain an infectious disease outbreak. Then came the novel coronavirus. The US response was slow, disorganized, and ineffective: The richest nation on Earth endured the most cases and deaths anywhere in the world, and it fared poorly even when adjusting for population. Chronic underinvestment in public health left the US struggling to set up a system to test for Covid-19, trace infected people’s contacts, and isolate those who were exposed. Government leaders resisted accepting the seriousness of the threat and failed to effectively communicate with the public. Hospitals in major hot spots scrambled to keep beds available. There were some successes: The US helped produce vaccines that should eventually help end the pandemic, and the federal government ultimately outspent other nations as it tried to stimulate the economy. But the public health response was a catastrophic failure. Around the world, other nations went further in their attempts to limit the pandemic’s damage. They applied lessons from their pasts and adjusted in the moment. Some of the differences in death and case rates are likely the result of luck or immutable characteristics like geography. Every approach came with trade-offs and caveats. But around the world, other governments successfully learned and adapted as they threw their resources at the problem of a deadly disease. In the Pandemic Playbook series, Vox explores the successes — and setbacks — of pandemic strategies in six nations, talking to the leaders who conceived them, the workers who executed them, and the citizens they affected. Our reporting is supported by a grant from the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund. South Korea’s Covid-19 success story started with failure Jun Michael Park for Vox Scarred by its failures during the 2015 MERS outbreak, the South Korean government approved a package of public health reforms that proved crucial in the coronavirus outbreak. The program for testing, tracing, and isolating patients meant South Korea flattened the curve of its Covid-19 outbreak much quicker than most Western countries — but it also raised difficult questions about privacy. By Dylan Scott and Jun Michael Park Germany (coming April 21) Jacobia Dahm for Vox Germany went from a Covid-19 success story to a cautionary tale. Political leaders, starting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, developed a message to clearly communicate to the public the nature of the coronavirus threat and what would be necessary to contain it. Local health officials succeeded in conveying how masks and social distancing would slow the virus’s spread, and, by the summer of 2020, the outbreak in Germany looked well managed compared to other countries in Europe or the US. But as the pandemic persisted, German resolve faltered. By German Lopez Vietnam (coming April 23) Linh Pham for Vox Vietnam didn’t hesitate when the dangers of the mysterious pneumonia in China were becoming clear: The country shut its borders. When cases did pop up inside the country, officials restricted internal travel too. Before the pandemic, the expert consensus was that travel restrictions were punitive and ineffective. But the minuscule number of coronavirus cases in Vietnam is one reason the conventional wisdom about pandemic border closures has turned upside down. By Julia Belluz United Kingdom (coming April 26) Alicia Canter for Vox As the Covid-19 outbreak accelerated, two British researchers came together to create the UK’s Recovery Trial, a massive program enrolling thousands of patients across hundreds of hospitals across the country. They hunted for treatments that would improve outcomes for patients infected with the virus, hoping to save lives in the time before a vaccine was widely available — and succeeded. By Dylan Scott Senegal (coming April 28) Ricci Shryock for Vox Senegal started the pandemic with fewer resources than wealthy countries. A wave of Covid-19 cases could quickly overwhelm doctors and hospitals. The country drew on its experience with Ebola — and its robust network of local go-betweens — to isolate patients and spread the word on public health. But especially because the wait for a vaccine will likely be longer in Senegal, keeping community buy-in was crucial and challenging. By Jen Kirby United States (coming April 30) Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Covid-19 was, for most countries, a dual crisis: the public health challenge posed by the pandemic itself, and the economic crisis brought on by the spreading pathogen and the measures undertaken to fight it. The US faltered badly on the former, botching its response to the spread of the virus and costing lives. But the way the country ultimately handled the economic crisis, particularly for those in need, was another story. By Dylan Matthews CREDITSReporters: Dylan Scott, German Lopez, Julia Belluz, Jen Kirby, Dylan MatthewsAdditional reporting by Jun Michael Park, Thuy Do, Giap Nguyen Photographers: Jun Michael Park, Jacobia Dahm, Ricci Shryock, Ina Makosi, Alicia Canter, Linh PhamEditors: Libby Nelson, Elbert Ventura, Eliza Barclay, Jenn WilliamsVisuals editor: Kainaz Amaria Graphics: Christina Animashaun Copy editors: Tanya Pai, Tim WilliamsEngagement: Agnes Mazur, Kaylah JacksonCommunications: Jill PikeFact-checkers: Becca Laurie, Matt Giles This project was supported by the Commonwealth Fund, a national, private foundation based in New York City that supports independent research on health care issues and makes grants to improve health care practice and policy.
vox.com
How author David Baldacci would spend a perfect day in D.C.
Books and sports figure prominently in the novelist’s ideal day.
washingtonpost.com
The Two Memos With Enormous Constitutional Consequences
One conclusion is apparent following Donald Trump’s four years in office: A sitting president is perhaps the only American who is not bound by criminal law, and thus not swayed by its disincentives.What’s astonishing is that this immunity has no grounding in actual law. It’s not in the Constitution or any federal statute, regulation, or judicial decision. It is not law at all.Instead, the ban on the indictment of a president rests on an internal personnel policy developed by the Department of Justice under two harangued presidents: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. In essence, the policy directs federal prosecutors to stand down when it comes to criminally charging a president. This is a dangerous state of affairs, and Congress must eradicate this policy with legislation—and it must do so soon, in case Trump does run for another term.[Richard D. Bernstein: Lots of people are disqualified from becoming president]In the American system of separated powers, “Can the president do that?” is the wrong question. The right question is “If he does that, what’s the consequence?” The answer to the latter must lie in one or both of the other two branches: Congress, through impeachment and removal, or the federal judiciary, through indictment and trial.Impeachment and removal are clearly not working as a check on criminal abuses in the Oval Office. That leaves the courts. But courts can hear only cases brought to them; the federal criminal docket is exclusively populated by federal prosecutors. And their ultimate boss—the president, through the executive-branch chain of command—won’t let them bring cases against a sitting president.In effect, the DOJ memoranda excise the judicial branch from the work of addressing criminal conduct in the White House—with no clear constitutional authority to do so. (I explain this in detail in a recent law-review article.)So what does the actual law say about prosecuting a sitting president? Not much. Under the landmark decision Marbury v. Madison, the federal courts have the authority to resolve constitutional ambiguities and clarify what the law is. That hasn’t happened on this issue.Congress has constitutionally delegated powers to create federal agencies, including the DOJ; to define the federal courts’ jurisdiction; and to pass legislation. But Congress has not passed a law immunizing a sitting president from the ambit of federal criminal laws.What Congress has done is authorize the DOJ to pass regulations, which to date include the standards governing the appointment and authority of special prosecutors such as Robert Mueller, who was tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. But the DOJ has promulgated no regulations bearing on indictment or non-indictment of a sitting president.Rather, what the country has guiding it is a pair of memoranda, written by an elite group of constitutional lawyers within the DOJ known as the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which say that indicting a sitting president is unconstitutional. To be sure, OLC opinions are routinely given great weight within the federal government; this is not unusual. The White House cannot ask sitting federal judges to prejudge thorny legal issues—their jurisdiction is confined to live cases and controversies under Article III of the Constitution. So the OLC functions to provide legal advice to “clients” within the executive branch; in the question of presidential immunity, that means the president himself. For regular people, lawyers’ advice is not binding unless a court or legislature agrees, but the OLC immunity memos have garnered a constitutional-esque quality—one they do not deserve.The OLC’s justifications for its presidential-immunity recommendation are pretty thin. The memos conclude that the impeachment remedy “could not itself be said to be the basis for a presidential immunity from indictment or criminal trial.” They also don’t suggest that impeachment requires proof of a criminal offense. The OLC thus implicitly acknowledges that there is a distinct role for the criminal-justice system in holding presidents accountable, and expressly acknowledges “that the President is not above the law, and that he is ultimately accountable for his misconduct that occurs before, during, and after his service to the country.” (Indeed, Trump’s lawyers in his second impeachment trial—as well as former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in his speech explaining his vote to acquit on technical procedural grounds—underscored criminal prosecution as the proper mechanism for addressing Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection.)[Kimberly Wehle: 4 ways to prevent a future insurrection]Lacking concrete law for guidance, the OLC manufactured de facto presidential immunity based on a normative judgment “that the burdens of criminal litigation would be so intrusive as to violate the separation of powers.” First, the OLC lawyers argued in 1973 that “a President’s status as defendant in a criminal case would be repugnant to his office of Chief Executive,” that his pardon power could “make it appear improper that the President should be a defendant in a criminal case,” and—most notably—that waging a criminal defense “would interfere with the President’s unique official duties, most of which cannot be performed by anyone else.”But today’s digitally driven political environment offers a compelling reason to reject that assumption, if it even made sense 48 years ago; avoiding legal distractions can no longer support the DOJ’s unilateral gloss on the Constitution to immunize presidents from criminal scrutiny. After all, the Supreme Court held in 1997 that President Clinton’s sitting for a deposition in a civil suit over conduct that allegedly occurred prior to his taking office wasn’t sufficiently distracting to require that the plaintiff, Paula Jones, wait until his term was over before pressing her lawsuit. After four years of Trump, moreover, the presidency withstood a special-counsel investigation, two impeachments, and numerous criminal investigations. Distraction from presidential duties is a slender reed on which to justify removing the judicial branch from the task of presidential oversight.In 2000, the OLC updated its analysis to draw a distinction between civil and criminal legal distractions, arguing that the latter were uniquely unpalatable. A criminal sentence “would make it physically impossible for the President to carry out his duties,” it surmised. Moreover, “the public stigma and opprobrium occasioned by the initiation of criminal proceedings … could compromise the President’s ability to fulfill his constitutionally contemplated leadership role.” Lastly, the OLC argued, “the mental and physical burdens of assisting in preparation of a defense … might severely hamper the President’s performance.”The Trump presidency whisked away each of these normative hesitations. Rejection of stigma and opprobrium was a hallmark of his presidency, and the Republican Party is hardly in the business of demanding accountability for Trumpian abuses of power. Moreover, the specter of a president in jail should not proscribe investigation and indictment in the first instance.If Congress doesn’t act, arguably the courts could. In a decision written while he was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh invoked a rare judicial remedy to force government officials to do their jobs. In In re: Aiken County, the plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus requiring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to process an application for a license to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Over the dissent of then-Judge Merrick Garland, Kavanaugh ruled that the case raised “significant questions about the scope of the Executive’s authority to disregard federal statutes,” as “the President may not decline to follow a statutory mandate … simply because of policy objections.”The OLC memos are likewise mere policy objections to the criminal scrutiny of a sitting president. If America is going to have a system of separated powers with presidential accountability to the people, the memos must no longer be treated as binding.
theatlantic.com