US virologists dispute Chinese whistleblower’s claim that COVID-19 is man made

"One of the major arguments [in the paper] is that [the virus] is so unique, it can't have been generated naturally, the only explanation is that it's man-made," virologist Dr. Gary Whittaker said.
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Alexei Navalny demands Russia returns his clothes for Novichok probe
Russian dissident Alexei Navalny on Monday accused Moscow of withholding a key piece of evidence in his poisoning and demanded the return of the clothes he was wearing when he fell deathly ill during a flight, according to reports. The Kremlin critic said his garments were taken from him before he was flown to Germany...
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Trump’s weekend rallies showed just how unhinged his campaign is
Trump speaks in Fayetteville on Saturday. | Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images Trump’s Minnesota rally featured praise of “good genes” and an extended apologia for Robert E. Lee. President Donald Trump is traveling around the country and holding packed campaign rallies in the middle of a pandemic with few masks and no social distancing. These campaign rallies serve as snapshots of the president’s messaging as he heads into the home stretch of his flagging reelection campaign. The picture isn’t pretty. From the podium, Trump routinely mocks local regulations against large gatherings, which he refers to without a sense of irony as “protests against stupidity.” Instead of touting his accomplishments or outlining a second-term agenda, Trump is praising white people for their genes and suggesting women of color who serve in Congress should be prosecuted. He’s offering apologia for the Confederacy while barely trying to conceal his authoritarian designs. Those tuning in to Trump’s rallies will see a power-hungry president who is increasingly turning up the race-baiting and attacks on the free press. His base loves it, but it should worry everyone else. Trump turns the racism up to 11 in Minnesota Trump’s Friday evening speech in Bemidji, Minnesota, began just before news of Ginsburg’s passing broke. Trump made it through his more than two hour speech without learning about it, which resulted in surreal scenes of him talking about his two Supreme Court nominations in the past tense as people yelled out things like, “Ginsburg is dead!” Speaking in a white part of a white state, the big takeaway from Trump’s speech was how many different forms of racism it featured. He began by alluding to Minnesota’s Somali population and said, sarcastically, “Are you having a good time with your refugees?” "Are you having a good time with your refugees?" -- Trump immediately pivots to full blown racism— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 18, 2020 The Minneapolis part of that community is represented in Congress by Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who Trump has demonized for years. During his Bemidji speech, Trump pushed unproven conspiracy theories about Omar’s personal life and suggested she and two other women of color who serve in Congress should be prosecuted. “We’ll prosecute ‘em. Yeah. Why not?” Trump said to cheers. "We'll prosecute 'em. Yeah. Why not?" -- Trump suggests congress members AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib should be prosecuted— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 18, 2020 Then there was the sight of a US president campaigning on a pro-Confederate platform. Minnesota fought valiantly as part of the Union during the Civil War, but Trump heaped praise on Confederate general Robert E. Lee, who he said would’ve “won except for Gettysbury” and described as “incredible.” "[Lincoln] was getting beaten a lot by Robert E Lee. They want to rip down his statue all over the place ... he would have won except for Gettysburg ... these were incredible things" -- Trump praises the top general who fought on behalf on slavery— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020 Things somehow got even worse. Toward the end of his speech, Trump praised his mostly white audience for their “good genes” — comments that left open the question of what genes the president thinks are bad. “You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota,” he said. "You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn't it, don't you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we're so different? You have good genes in Minnesota." -- Trump— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020 Of course, it’s not exactly breaking news at this late date that Trump is racist. But it’s remarkable just how racist his reelection campaign is. And by pitting his supporters against Minnesota’s Somali community, his strategy of using race to divide and conquer was on full display. The authoritarianism is barely hidden If Trump’s Friday speech was about racism, his showing the next night in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was about authoritarianism. Trump began with a brief tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but quickly pivoted to talking about his plans to fill her seat as soon as possible as his fans chanted, “Fill that seat!” Trump begins by saying nice things about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Trump's audience isn't thrilled about it but politely refrains from booing. But he immediately pivots to how he plans to quickly fill the seat, prompting huge applause & chants of "fill that seat" that he encourages.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020 If anyone was hoping that Trump’s motives are untainted, he quickly disabused them of the notion, saying, “We’re gonna have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen.” He quickly added that “we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so we can actually have an evening where we know who wins.” "We're gonna have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you've never seen. Now we're counting on the federal court system to make it so we can actually have an evening where we know who wins" -- Trump— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020 These comments alluded to Trump’s insistence that mail voting, which has proven to be safe and effective in a number of states and is in higher demand than ever because of the coronavirus pandemic, is being used by Democrats to “rig” the 2020 election against him. He wants people to believe that any delay in tallying results is tantamount to fraud, and is hoping the Supreme Court will have his back. That wasn’t the only corrupt quid pro quo Trump boasted about during that speech. He also said that as a condition of Oracle’s involvement in a TikTok sale, he’s demanding that Oracle’s leadership “do me a favor” and “put up $5 billion into a fund for education so we can educate people as to real history of our country, not the fake history.” Holy shit. Trump says that as a condition of TikTok's sale, he tried to shake down Oracle to put $5 billion into a fund "so we can educate people as to the real history of our country -- the real history, not the fake."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 19, 2020 Trump doesn’t have the power to extort private companies like that. But he wants you to think he does, and his supporters may think so too. Trump all but incites violence against the press Another element of Trump’s authoritarianism was evidence in remarks he made in both Minnesota and North Carolina about MSNBC host Ali Velshi, who was tear-gassed and shot by a rubber bullet live on air while covering the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis. “It was the most beautiful thing,” Trump said in Bemidji, alluding to video of Velshi getting shot. “It’s called law and order.” "It was the most beautiful thing ... it's called law and order" -- Trump gloats about @AliVelshi getting hit by a rubber bullet in Minneapolis. Sick stuff.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 18, 2020 On Saturday — hours before Trump again lauded the law enforcement officials who shot Velshi — MSNBC sent a statement to Vox characterizing the president’s comments as a threat against free speech. “Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy,” it said. “When the president mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms.” But what one person views as a threat to constitutional liberties another views as an applause line at a campaign rally — a rally that is also a public health risk as the president is mockingly flouting public health regulations during a pandemic. In that sense, perhaps what Trump’s latest rallies showed most clearly is America’s polarization between people with a sense of empathy on one hand, and the president’s base on the other. Will you help keep Vox free for all? The United States is in the middle of one of the most consequential presidential elections of our lifetimes. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. That is our mission at Vox. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. Even when the economy and the news advertising market recovers, your support will be a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping everyone understand this presidential election: Contribute today from as little as $3.
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Doctor on COVID-19 deaths: "We have had the tools to prevent this"
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Rep. Doug Collins to introduce constitutional amendment to prohibit Supreme Court packing
Rep. Doug Collins is expected to introduce a constitutional amendment to prohibit a change to the size of the Supreme Court until 10 years after enactment of any legislation that would alter the number of seats on the high court.
Bellator Europe 8: Make your predictions for Fabian Edwards vs. Costello van Steenis
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Listen to Episode 29 of ‘Amazin’ But True’: Mets Need a Miracle to Make Playoffs
The Mets will need nothing short of a miracle if they want to sneak into the playoffs. It will take seven straight wins to finish the season. 31-29 likely gets them in, but even that is not a lock. There is a chance that a 6-1 finish to make it 30-30 does the trick, but...
Chargers' Tyrod Taylor still 'our starter' after missing Chiefs game because of chest pain, coach says
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Neurologist Oliver Sacks On The Hallucination That Saved His Life
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Jeffrey Toobin On 'Tough As Nails' Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Vigil held to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Robert Graetz, White pastor who helped organize Montgomery bus boycott, dies at 92
Robert Graetz, a white minister famously known for his support of the Montgomery bus boycott died on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from the Southeastern Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Leah McSweeney reveals she got a nose job
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The virtual Emmy Awards hit an all-time ratings low with 6.1 million viewers
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Washington is experiencing some of its coolest September weather in decades
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How to Watch, Live Stream Trump's Ohio Campaign Rallies on Monday
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House Democrats on Monday introduced a short-term bill to keep the federal government funded and operating through December 11. The legislation is intended to avert a shutdown at the end of the month, but was unveiled without the backing of Republicans and a bipartisan deal on funding has not yet been reached.
Chirping smoke detectors at students’ home were disrupting virtual classes. Now firefighters are helping to fix them.
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These Dancing Garbage Men Didn't Know They Were Being Filmed but You'll Be Glad They Were
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WWII German Navy wreck with Nazi symbol discovered
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Emmy ratings fall again to record low, as streaming becomes the new normal
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'Ratched' creator Ryan Murphy sells Laguna Beach compound for $10.65 million
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Tom Del Beccaro:  Supreme Court nominations – these are the only rules that matter
The passing of the iconic Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has added to the drama of 2020.
Director of "RBG" documentary remembers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as "determined"
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a champion for women's rights long before she reached the Supreme Court. Betsy West co-directed "RBG," a 2018 biographical documentary film, and she joined CBSN to explain why women and men owe Justice Ginsburg a debt of gratitude.
New 'Mandalorian' figures and Legos arrive just in time for season 2
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Supreme Court battle adds new twist to Biden-Trump showdown ahead of first debate
The most bitterly partisan of all political battles – a Supreme Court nomination fight – has been added to an already toxic mix with just a month and a half to go until Election Day – and with the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Trump just over a week out.
Corey Stoll pictured as Uncle Junior filming ‘Sopranos’ prequel
The release of "The Many Saints of Newark" has been delayed until March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.