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Indulge your sweet tooth with these low-sugar summer desserts

Registered dietitians and nutritionists share their favorite low-sugar desserts to make at home or buy off the shelf.
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Judge dismisses lawsuit to invalidate proxy voting in the House
House Republicans attempted to block the change in House rules to allow proxy voting due to the coronavirus.
4 m
cbsnews.com
Major U.S. cities see elevated jobless rates amid pandemic
As the pandemic continues, the nation's major cities are seeing elevated jobless levels, and Americans across the country are feeling the financial strain. Mark Strassmann has the story of two women who are fearful for their futures.
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cbsnews.com
This day in sports: Hal Sutton beats Jack Nicklaus to win PGA Championship
A look at some of the greatest moments in sports history to have occurred on August 7.
latimes.com
Column: Facing a wave of evictions, California is about to make thousands of kids homeless
In weeks, as many as 1 million families across California could find themselves at risk of being forced out of their homes, pushed off the "eviction cliff."
latimes.com
Feedback: Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Smeal fact check 'Mrs. America'
Readers share opinions on Steinem and Smeal's ERA reality check, Kurt Andersen's review of Mary Trump's book, Emmy nominations and more.
latimes.com
Editorial: Let's not make sidewalk cleanings an excuse to force homeless people off the sidewalks
There's a good reason not to force homeless people to move off a sidewalk for deep cleaning. It means they move somewhere else and increase their chances of getting COVID. If we are going to do cleanings, let's be careful.
latimes.com
Tim Graham: Biden's basement strategy remains unchallenged — why liberal media are terrified of his gaffes
All this media acceptance of Biden's basement strategy masks their terror over the possibility of another Trump win.
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Scammers could be targeting unemployment benefits in California, state warns
Hit with a flood of more than 9 million applications for unemployment benefits, California is trying to identify which of them may be fraudulent.
latimes.com
Eviction protections are expiring. What does this mean for struggling California tenants?
Expanded federal jobless benefits and an eviction moratorium have already expired. And the biggest state protection against evictions could go away this month.
latimes.com
California's agency for protecting workers can't protect its own — even amid a pandemic, officials say
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Shia LaBeouf in 'The Tax Collector': His 5 essential roles, from 'Holes' to 'Honey Boy'
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Column: Trump says he has a healthcare plan (yeah, sure). I have a better idea
Trump is promising (yet again) a comprehensive healthcare plan. While we await that, how about a greater commitment to price transparency?
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From veepstakes to Cabinet? Where Biden's running mate contenders might land if he wins
Cabinet posts under Biden could be filled by women he declines to put on the Democratic ticket
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Children with disabilities are regressing. How much is distance learning to blame?
California has mandated that school districts continue to provide special education to students with disabilities during the pandemic, but has waived key timelines that allow students to receive assessments and services quickly.
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How California is preparing for in-person voting this year due to coronavirus
California elections officials are scrambling to determine how many voting locations they can muster, and how they'll find enough short-term workers to enforce coronavirus safety measures.
latimes.com
New Movies + Shows to Watch this Weekend: ‘Selling Sunset’ on Netflix + More
...Plus Work It, The Fight, Howard and more!
nypost.com
After first being spared, rural California now being ravaged by the coronavirus
The coronavirus is now hitting California's Central Valley the hardest.
latimes.com
The pandemic hasn’t stopped Native Hawaiians’ fight to protect Maunakea
Kai’i, or protectors, form a line blocking the access road to Maunakea on the Big Island of Hawaii on July 15, 2019, the day TMT was to begin construction of one the largest telescopes in the world. The mountain, sacred to Native Hawaiians, is known as “where the gods reside.” | Kapulei Flores Protectors are no longer on the sacred mountain, but they are still working to prevent the construction of a massive telescope. “It almost seems like it never happened,” Pua Case tells Vox about her time in the encampment at the foot of Maunakea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii and the tallest mountain in the world. While she lives only a 30-minute drive away, she says, “I have to go back and look at videos or pictures to remind myself that we were really up there.” For nearly nine months, she and other kiaʻi, or protectors, were sleeping in a parking lot over a lava field that marks the beginning of the access road up to Maunakea’s summit. From the Pu‘uhonua o Pu‘uhuluhulu camp, protectors kept watch for construction crews for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) — planned to be the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere — through windstorms, hail, and overnight temperatures that dipped well below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. In Hawaiian traditions of creation, the mountain is an ancestor and shares genealogical ties with Native Hawaiians, or Kanaka Maoli. It is one of the most sacred sites — if not the most sacred — in Hawaiian culture. For kiaʻi, protecting the mountain from desecration is more than a cultural responsibility; it’s a lineal duty to those who came before them and the generations who will succeed them. Mauna Media For nine months, kia’i encamped on Maunakea, watching for TMT construction crews. Their Pu‘uhonua o Pu‘uhuluhulu camp was equipped with a kitchen, solar trailers, and even a “university” grounded in Native Hawaiian science and culture. When the pandemic hit, kiaʻi were already assessing the threat of construction and considering the impact on resources. After determining that there was no imminent threat, they decided to pack up their site, which hosted anywhere between 30 and 3,000 people at any given time. Should an attempt be made to initiate the project, they knew they could be back up there in half an hour. Still, their departure from the mountain was marked by emotional exhaustion and trepidation for what was to come. It also presented familiar challenges. Before the latest standoff on the mountain, many kiaʻi had spent years tirelessly writing letters, submitting testimony to city council meetings, combing over management plans, and trying to monitor the movements of multiple parties with vastly more power and resources than they’ll ever have. Today, they continue that labor from their homes. At least on the mountain, they could offer their physical presence to inspire supporters, who could be shielded from the invisible — and, certainly, less romantic — work kiaʻi had been doing behind the scenes. The movement has a robust social media presence that acts as a direct line of communication between the front line and its supporters abroad. The Protect Mauna a Wākea Instagram account, one of two accounts that had been operating from the camp, has 136,000 followers who rely on photos and videos of kiaʻi to draw inspiration and feel plugged into the action.Under lockdown, the movement is challenged with keeping supporters, who are used to seeing dispatches from the mountain, engaged and connected to it. “It’s constant,” Case says. “You have to be a presence or you’re going to disappear. And you can’t afford to disappear when you’re talking about your lifeways, your culture, and the very continuance and protection of the places that are connected to you.” A timeline of resistance Kiaʻi have opposed the telescope’s construction in a string of legal challenges, petitions, and protests over the past decade.But the fight for Maunakea gained national attention a year ago, after Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced that construction would be cleared to begin on July 15. That morning, kiaʻi awaited the construction crews. Some had locked themselves to a cattle guard that was built into the Mauna Kea Access Road — the only road up to the summit. But then, a line of elders, or kupuna, formed farther down, at the start of the road. It was their blockade that inevitably became the front line. “I saw them sitting in lawn chairs and folding chairs on the road, all bundled up with blankets and sleeping bags,” said Andre Perez, one of the kiaʻi and a nonviolent direct action trainer for the Hawaiʻi Unity and Liberation Institute. He was the acting police liaison that day. “I knew that something powerful was happening. The elders were stepping into the fray and taking charge.” They held that line for two days before Ige issued a state of emergency on July 17, clearing a path for law enforcement to begin making arrests. Kapulei Flores Law enforcement on Maunkea on July 17, 2019. That day, 38 kupuna, or elders, many in their 70s and 80s, were arrested for blocking the access road. Multiple agencies arrived on the scene; there were officers brought in from other islands, three state agencies, and the National Guard. It wasn’t long before kiaʻi, hundreds of whom had gathered there around their kupuna, were sitting in front of a massive militarized police presence dressed in riot gear and armed with chemical dispersants and a long-range acoustic device (LRAD) — a sonic weapon developed for use by the US military that emits high-frequency sounds at extreme volumes to disperse crowds. Whatever aggression law enforcement expected from the crowd that day never materialized. Kia‘i sat in purposeful silence as 38 of their kupuna, many in their 70s and 80s, were arrestedand escorted — and, in several instances, carried — away to awaiting police vans, crying but resolute. The air above the crowd was periodically punctured by sobs, singing, and chanting. “We didn’t want to give the police any reason to escalate,” said Perez. “Our discipline was our safety.” Images and video footage of the arrests sparked public outcry across the island chain and overseas. It was the stark, visible disparity between the resistance and the state response that galvanized a native movement and brought supporters from around the world to their cause. For nearly nine months after, kupuna never left the spot they first occupied. A tent was erected to shelter them as they sat on the road, and a volunteer village formed overnight, equipped with a kitchen, solar trailers, and even a “university” grounded in Native Hawaiian science and culture. They hosted locals and musicians from neighboring islands, curious tourists, relatives from other Indigenous movements — the camp flew flags gifted to them from Palestine, Tibet, Guam, Standing Rock, Cherokee, and Navajo, Aotearoa, and the Indigenous Australian people, among others. Even Hollywood celebrities like Jason Momoa and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who felt connected to the movement through their Polynesian heritage,came to pay their respects. A team of medics was also on hand to assist kupuna, some of whom experienced altitude sickness and even mild strokes while keeping watch over their sacred mountain. Many kupuna had preexisting health conditions that made their taking a stand challenging — and yet, they stayed. After five months and$15 million spent on officers and supplies to manage the conflict, Ige withdrew state and county law enforcement from the mountain. At the same time, he requested additional funding from the House Finance Committee as a “contingency amount for any upcoming projects that may attract community activism, including but not limited to Maunakea.” In late December, kiaʻi reached a temporary agreement with Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim to clear the access road with his assurance that TMT would not attempt to begin construction until the end of February 2020. They caught a break when the deal expired; the observatory’s leadership had yet to determine when construction could begin. In the midst of the pandemic, the future is uncertain. Kiaʻi don’t know when or if they’ll return to the mountain to resume their standoff.Since the lockdown, some have returned to the mountain to stand at the ahu, the altar erected alongside where their camp once stood, and for years where many have offered prayers. It is ground that they hope someday to only have to hold in prayer, rather than resistance. A battle for the heavens The new giant telescope promises access to “the very edge of the observable Universe,” an opportunity to discover places that were previously unreachable to humankind. “It will enable a new frontier of discoveries about the contents, nature, and evolution of the universe, including the search for life on other planets,” the University of California, one of the project’s funders, said in a statement to Vox. “The potential for scientific discoveries is truly unlimited.” But kiaʻi say it’s precisely this argument that gives cause for opposition: There are some places that humans aren’t meant to go, and the summit of Maunakea is one of them. The summit is firmly the province of the gods. Historically, only select individuals — such as the kahuna, or priests, or the ali‘i, high chiefs — were permitted on the mountain in order to perform ceremonies of affairs, and they wouldn’t stay long. It is sacred not only in its religious capacity but also because of the lack of oxygen. At 13,796 feet, there is 40 percent less air pressure at the summit than at sea level. Visitors are advised to heed signs of altitude sickness and pulmonary and cerebral edemas. Even employees at existing observatories have reported feeling fatigued working at that elevation. “It’s a place where humans don’t belong,” says Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, one of the kupuna arrested that day. “Where gods reside.” Kapulei Flores Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, one of the 38 kupuna arrested for blocking the access road to Maunakea, on July 17, 2019. The area between Maunakea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai volcanic mountains are sensitive environments and culturally significant landscapes. Roughly 20 miles from Kona to the west and almost 30 miles from Hilo to the east, the area is extremely remote. The only other substantial activity in that area is at the Pōhakuloa Training Area, the largest military installation in the Pacific, where the US Army conducts live-fire training a few miles down the road. On those rare nights when the harsh weather conditions would relent, kiaʻi still had to fall asleep to the sound of machine gun fire carried over the camp by an eastward wind. And as they laid their heads down in their tents, they could feel tremors underneath them from the impact of explosions. “It feels like a little earthquake,” says Wong-Wilson. “Every time, it just hurt our soul.” TMT proponents say they don’t understand why Kanaka and locals would go through the trouble to contest a telescope, an instrument of science that beckons humankind to reach for a higher purpose. Many have reasoned that the telescope must represent other longstanding issues for the Hawaiian people — such as the 1893 illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom by American and European businessmen, aided by the US military, which paved the way for US possession of the islands and, eventually, Hawaii’s induction into statehood. “I understand that talking about TMT is a way to express some frustration over these issues that have not been addressed in the past,” Gordon Squires, vice president of external affairs for the TMT International Observatory, told Hawaii News Now. It’s a position those in the movement have heard repeatedly from their opposition, and to Kamanamaikalani Beamer, a longtime advocate for the preservation of Maunakea and an associate professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa’s School of Law and School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the argument is entirely dismissive. “Trying to say, ‘Look, we’re sorry [about]the overthrow, but don’t make us hurt for it’ is so dislocated from the reality of the situation. The scale, the amount of degradation, and the density of the existing telescope facilities on Maunakea — it’s all too much.” Squires, meanwhile, has called the project — whose budget has now climbed from its initial projection of $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion — “a bargain for the people of Hawaii and the people of the world as we understand our place in the universe.” But what many onlookers find perplexing, and what opponents of the telescope certainly find frustrating, is that TMT already has the licenses and land required to develop on a backup site: La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands. It is a far less contentious option, and yet Maunakea remains TMT’s first choice for the project; the summit’s higher altitude and cooler temperatures make it a “slightly better” site to capture infrared light, Harvard’s astronomy department chair, Avi Loeb, told the Associated Press, thereby enhancing the telescope’s imaging capabilities. “I think we can all agree that Maunakea is a great place to view the stars,” says Beamer. “But that’s not all Maunakea is.” TMT leadership and proponents have also vehemently denied that the project’s presence would disturb any cultural resources or sites at the summit. But historical mismanagement of the summit’s natural and cultural resources has been well documented since the first observatory was constructed; kia‘i have no doubt that the addition of an 18-story building — slated to be the largest building on the Big Island — will be any different. “In the Western perspective, people want to draw a line in the dirt and say, ‘It’s only sacred in this spot here, where you stand; therefore, we can build 500 feet to the left of that because that’s not sacred anymore.’ And we say that the landscape of the summit, which has no line drawn around it, is a spiritual landscape,” says Wong-Wilson. “Once they dig two stories into the ground and put in all the roads and outbuildings, and then the five-acre structure, they’ll have done damage that’s irreparable. The way that it looks now will never be recovered, and that, to me, is unacceptable. All the money in the world will not make up for that.” The fight ahead There’s no telling what the fight ahead looks like for the movement, other than that it will be difficult. While the TMT International Observatory has announced that construction will not likely begin until 2021, the project is pursuing significant funding from the National Science Foundation, which would present a new set of federal regulatory obstacles that could further postpone construction by at least another three years. Still, Squires says it isn’t a question of “if” construction would happen, but “when.” “We’re absolutely committed to finding a way forward in Hawaii,” he said to Hawaii News Now on July 15, exactly one year since the most recent standoff began. The University of California also doubled down on its commitment to the project, saying, “TMT remains committed to integrating science and culture, providing the best possible stewardship of Maunakea, enriching Hawaiian culture and heritage, and supporting educational opportunities as it enables this global scientific collaboration centered in Hawaii in the interest of humanity.” The governor’s office did not respond to Vox about the state’s involvement in the private project’s progress in the future. But in February, Ige traveled to Japan — one of two countries investing public funds into the project — and met with key TMT stakeholders there, signaling his commitment, as he stated in his emergency proclamation a year ago, “to seeing this project through.” As far as kiaʻi are concerned, though, they still have a job to do: protect the mountain; stop the project for good. In July, to commemorate a year since this latest standoff and the kupuna arrests, a slew of online events and actions was organized for their supporters to participate in “#TMTshutdown week,” including topic-focused talks via Zoom, film screenings, and a letter-signing campaign to TMT’s board of governors, project partners, and other affiliated stakeholders urging them to halt any further attempts at construction. Kiaʻi also recently submitted testimony at a UC Board of Regents meeting on July 30, where its chair John Pérez concluded that the board would continue discussions of the telescope at a later date. Meanwhile, charges against the 38 kupuna still stand. While kiaʻi can’t afford rest, they might spare a moment to marvel at what has transpired over the past year. “I think most people thought we would get squashed. We were up against a billion-dollar project,” says Beamer. “And yet we were able to turn the tide. Despite all that it takes to stand against something like this, to risk what we’ve spent our lives building, people did it anyway. And we did it out of courage.” On July 15, 2019, construction for TMT was scheduled to begin. One year later, it still hasn’t broken ground. 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.
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'Dirty Dancing' is getting a sequel
Because nobody puts Baby in a corner.
edition.cnn.com
Vanessa Guillén's murder a "tipping point," Army secretary says
Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.
cbsnews.com
Woman stabbed in random attack at Upper West Side subway station
Terrifying video shows the moment before a stranger stabs a woman in the shoulder during a random attack in an Upper West Side subway station this week, cops said. The 40-year-old victim was standing at a MetroCard kiosk at the 1, 2 and 3 station at 72nd Street and Broadway just before noon Thursday when...
nypost.com
Suns' Devin Booker channeling late Lakers legend during team's streak: 'Kobe's with me every day'
Devin Booker’s channeling of the late Kobe Bryant is what has propelled the Phoenix Suns to four straight wins since the NBA’s restart, he said after the team’s latest victory Thursday.
foxnews.com
Eye Opener: Model predicts nearly 300,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths by December
A new model predicts U.S. coronavirus deaths will reach nearly 300,000 by December 1. Also, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association. All that and all that matters in today's Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds.
cbsnews.com
Following Biden's mea culpa, CNN, MSNBC defend former VP after virtually ignoring latest gaffes
Despite being 24-hour cable news networks, CNN and MSNBC offered little to no on-air coverage of Joe Biden's latest gaffes, at least before he offered his mea culpa.
foxnews.com
Big Tech's head-spinning rules for the 2020 election
Late Wednesday, Twitter made waves by temporarily restricting a Trump campaign account's ability to tweet because it shared a video containing false claims President Trump had made about the coronavirus. But Twitter took no action on President Trump's personal account, which re-shared the video.
edition.cnn.com
Anti-maskers explain themselves
Supporters and members of Patriot Prayer and People’s Rights Washington take part in a rally against Washington state’s mask mandate on June 26, 2020, in Vancouver, Washington. | Karen Ducey/Getty Images “If I’m going to get Covid and die from it, then so be it”: What it’s like to be against masks. At the outset of the pandemic, Amy, a 48-year-old mother of two from Ohio, was afraid. When the government began recommending people wear masks, she not only complied but also made masks for others. “I was like, oh, this is scary, this could be really bad,” she said. But when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state would extend its lockdown for the month of May, she’d had it. Pandemic over or not, she was done. After that, Amy became vehemently anti-mask and began to doubt whether coronavirus was really that big of a deal. Her mother unfollowed her on Facebook over her “anger posts” about masks, and she hasn’t heard from her in a month. She carries a homemade mask with her, just in case, but she doesn’t believe in them. “It’s a violation of my freedom, I think, and then also I just don’t think they work,” Amy said. “A lot of stuff says it does, but then some doesn’t.” Masks have become an extremely heated point of contention during the Covid-19 outbreak. Viral videos of people having meltdowns over masks are commonplace, and in many parts of the country, it’s not abnormal for strangers to confront each other publicly over the issue. A small but vocal segment of the population has dug in and ignored the growing evidence that masks may make a difference in combating the coronavirus. For those who believe that at the very least, wearing a mask can’t hurt, it’s hard to not develop some animosity toward those who refuse. The question I keep hearing from pro-mask friends and family is always the same: What are these people thinking? In recent weeks, I spoke with nearly a dozen people who consider themselves anti-mask to find out just that. What I discovered is that there is certainly a broad spectrum of reasons — some find wearing a mask annoying or just aren’t convinced they work, and others have gone down a rabbit hole of conspiracies that often involve vaccines, Big Pharma, YouTube, and Bill Gates. One man told me he wears a mask when he goes to the store to be polite. A woman got kicked out of a Menards store for refusing to wear a mask amid what she calls the “Covid scam garbage.” But there are also many commonalities. Most people I talked to noted government officials’ confusing messaging on masks in the pandemic’s early days. They insist that they’re not conspiracy theorists and that they don’t believe the coronavirus is a hoax, but many also expressed doubts about the growing body of scientific knowledge around the virus, opting for cherry-picked and unverified sources of information found on social media rather than traditional news sources. They often said they weren’t political but acknowledged they leaned right. Most claimed not to know anyone who had contracted Covid-19 or died of it, and when I told them I did, the responses were the same: How old were they? Did they have preexisting conditions? They know their position is unpopular, and most spoke on condition of anonymity and will be referred to only by their first names. Amy told me people are “not very nice about this.” The mask debate is complex. As much as it’s about science, health, and risk, it’s also about empathy. If someone doesn’t personally know anyone who died from Covid-19, does it mean those lives don’t matter? Are older and immunocompromised people disposable? Does one person’s right to ignore public health advice really trump someone else’s right to live? “Death is happening in these wards where even family members can’t visit their loved ones when they’re sick with Covid, so the death and the severity of this disease are really invisible to the public,” said Kumi Smith, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who studies infectious diseases. It leads some people to brush the issue aside. “I’m empathetic that anyone has to die ever, but that’s the reality of our lives. And I almost feel like if I’m going to get Covid and die from it, then so be it,” said Gina, a Pennsylvania real estate agent who wears a mask at work but otherwise opposes mask mandates. “I’m empathetic that anyone has to die ever, but that’s the reality of our lives” But the empathy question also works the other way — attacking people for not wearing a mask doesn’t change minds. An open, more forgiving conversation might. That’s what happened with Scott Liftman, a 50-year-old man from Massachusetts who read a story in the Atlantic about men who won’t wear masks. He contacted the article’s author, Harvard epidemiologist Julia Marcus, and has come around — somewhat — on the idea of putting one on, at least in certain situations. “I want to be sensitive, I want to follow scientific principles, but I also want to exercise common sense, too,” Liftman told me. “You never want to read something that just shames you. I really think that no two people are so different that they can’t find some common ground.” “These people are part of our community, and they are putting other people at risk,” Marcus said. “If you can inch some people, you will see risk reduction overall.” Freedom, but for your face As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spin out of control in the United States, many states, localities, and businesses have turned to requiring people to wear masks in hopes the measure will slow the spread of infection. Currently, 34 states have mask mandates, and polls show a hefty majority of Americans would support a national mask mandate, as well. For those who disagree, that’s partially where the problem resides: They insist they’re not anti-mask, they’re anti-mandate. “If you want to wear a mask, great. I will never look down on you, have anything bad to say to you, do what you want. But the mandates are what I disagree with and I don’t think are right, especially now,” Gina said. Rallies against mask mandates have popped up across the country, much like the protests to reopen the economy that took place at state capitols earlier this year. People wanted the freedom to get a haircut; now they want the freedom to go to the grocery store without covering their face. Some of the people I spoke with drew the line, specifically, at government mandates. It’s one thing for a private business to require customers to wear a mask, they said, but another thing for a state government to do it. Private establishments “have a right to do so, and you should respect those rules,” Jason, a paramedic from Michigan, said. Others, however, chafed at rules from businesses, too. Members of one Facebook group circulated a list of stores with mask requirements, chatting about boycotting those retailers or visiting to try to challenge the rules. When I spoke with Jacqueline, who lives in Wyoming, she was upset over the mask requirement at her local Menards. She’d been to the home improvement store, sans mask, twice in recent days — the first time, she was allowed to make her purchase despite ignoring the rules, but the second time, she had no such luck. She was asked to leave the store after a physical altercation ensued — Jacqueline says a worker pushed her, the store says she rammed someone with a cart — and management called the police to file a report. She’s now banned from the store. “They don’t have to ban me because I’ll never go back again,” Jacqueline said. She told me she’ll go to Home Depot instead. (It also appears to require masks for customers.) As to why she believes she’s exempt from the rules, Jacqueline cited the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. “No states are allowed to make laws that take our freedoms and liberties away,” she said. But then she mentioned a mask exemption card she got — not from a doctor, but from a friend. It appears she has one of the fake cards some people are using to try to get out of wearing a mask by claiming they have a disability. “I get overheated really easy,” she explains. The issue with the freedom argument is that wearing a mask is about more than protecting yourself — there’s growing evidence masks are useful for protecting others from those who may have Covid-19 and not know it. Not wearing a mask may encroach on another person’s freedom to go out in relative safety. Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images An anti-mask protester holds an American flag during a rally July 18, 2020, at the Ohio Statehouse. Part of the problem is the facts have changed. Another part is where the facts are coming from. There is no denying that Covid-19 messaging from official channels has, at times, been confusing and contradictory. Early on, people were told not to wear a mask, but now that’s changed. Scientific consensus evolves with new information, this is a new disease, and like it or not, the world is full of uncertainty. Given that uncertainty, it makes sense people would have doubts. If officials changed their minds on masks before, what’s to stop them from doing it again? Some people also feel the pandemic isn’t as bad as it was made out to be in the spring. They don’t know very many people, if anyone, who have gotten sick, and in some places, especially more rural areas, masks just aren’t that common. Among those I spoke with, however, I noticed that while the conversation might begin with contradictory messaging and doubts about efficacy, it often devolved into conspiracy theories. The mainstream media was lying, they said, asking whether I’d seen this video on YouTube or followed that person on Twitter. Jacqueline’s Facebook timeline was filled with posts the platform had flagged as false, and with diatribes that the company was censoring her. She told me she hurt her hand several weeks prior, and that she had weighed going to the emergency room but decided against it: She’s 65 and believes she’d automatically be given a positive Covid-19 test and placed on a ventilator to likely die. Bryan, who lives in New Jersey, declined to speak on the phone for this story out of concern I might misconstrue his words. He opted to communicate via LinkedIn, sending over several days more than 4,000 words explaining his thoughts on masks and the pandemic. Initially, he said his main issue was the mandate. “What the mandates have done is scare people into believing they are a must if they are to avoid catching the virus. And because those scared few feel that way, they become angry and vile towards anyone who does not share in their fear,” he wrote. Bryan told me that he and his fellow “truth seekers” have always questioned the numbers on Covid-19’s mortality rate, and he expressed doubts about government officials’ advice and the media’s coverage of the pandemic. He acknowledged that some of what he was saying made him sound like a conspiracy theorist, but also leaned in: He believes masks are a step in “getting people into compliance so that they can make vaccines mandatory as well.” His theory: “Soon it will be, ‘take the vaccine,’ or you can’t travel, shop, etc.” Or worse, he said, digital IDs or “health care passports.” Certain theories and conspiracies came up over and over again. Nearly everyone I spoke with referenced a single Florida man whose death in a motorcycle crash was erroneously listed as a Covid-19 death, saying it was evidence the virus’s fatality count was vastly overstated. (Research has shown that coronavirus deaths are likely underreported.) Many said that hydroxychloroquine is the miracle cure for Covid-19, despite evidence it is likely ineffective, and that efforts to develop other drugs or a vaccine are simply a ploy by Big Pharma to make money. Sometimes Bill Gates was involved, though exactly why he was painted as a nefarious figure was somewhat unclear. Bryan mentioned an event related to pandemic preparedness, hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2019, as evidence of activity that seems “strangely coincidental” given current events. “Who is one of the ones backing all of that ‘preparedness?’ Good ole Bill Gates, a man who not long ago had a huge image problem due to some monopolistic practices, etc. Now he seems to have revived his image because he is a ‘virus and vaccine expert?’” Bryan wrote. Most of the people I spoke with got their information from their own “independent investigations” or content they found on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. “YouTube is where alternative thinkers are going to do their thinking,” Mak, whose hot yoga studio in British Columbia was shut down due to the coronavirus, told me. “There’s definitely some sort of an agenda here to initiate control upon the people and to make people more obedient and compliant, and see which people are going to comply with some directives,” he said. “I know they’re lying to the masses” Some anti-maskers have turned to making content of their own. Tanya, also from British Columbia, had gone to local hospitals to try to record what was going on and prove that media stories about the outbreak were false. “I know they’re lying to the masses,” she told me. “I don’t know anybody who has had coronavirus, I don’t know anybody who knows anybody, and I know a lot of people.” “Anti-maskers will say masks are making you breathe in your own carbon dioxide,” said Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University. “That’s not at all a thing, because we know ... there are plenty of people whose occupations require them to wear a mask.” Politics is part of it, but not all of it Like so many things, masks have become a politicized issue. President Donald Trump and many Republicans have spent months using them as a political lightning rod. Some have since changed their tune — the president has begun recommending masks, though his message hasn’t been consistent or wholehearted. “The challenge is that when you had political leaders early on saying we are not wearing masks, we don’t think it’s important, we don’t think it’s a good idea, there are a lot of people in the country who very, very seriously follow President Trump,” said Catherine Sanderson, a professor of psychology at Amherst College. “When you have somebody in that sort of a vivid role saying, ‘I’m not going to do this,’ it creates a norm people are motivated to follow.” Jacqueline told me she believes the pandemic death count has been inflated in an effort to undermine the president. “They’re all saying this so that they can make the president look bad, so they can cause the problems they are causing,” she said. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images After months of refusing to wear a mask in public, President Donald Trump wears one on July 11, 2020, while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Politicization is playing out at a much more local level, too. I spoke with Anthony Sabatini, a member of the Florida House of Representatives who has filed multiple lawsuits over mask mandates. Ahead of our interview, he emphasized he’s worried about mandates and government overreach, not the masks themselves. During our discussion, he initially claimed that police would be going into businesses and homes, checking to see whether people were wearing a mask. When I asked for evidence, he referenced to an ordinance against gatherings of more than 10 people — not masks — but claimed they were “part and parcel” of the same issue. When I asked Sabatini whether he personally wears a mask, his initial response was, “Where? In my bed?” I clarified: when he goes out, like to the grocery store. Sabatini, who is 31, told me he doesn’t go to the grocery store because he’s “too busy” and “a millennial,” and therefore eats out all the time. He conceded he sometimes goes to the grocery store, so when I asked whether he wears a mask there, he insisted I name which specific store. Sabatini said older people are generally most at risk of dying of Covid-19, adding that he is “very careful” around them — specifically those 82 or older. The majority of deaths have been in nursing homes, he explained, and he doesn’t know anyone personally in a nursing home. “Anyone in my age group, it’s just rare that you know anybody that’s in that age group,” he said. According to the Florida House of Representatives’ website, there were more than 500 people residing in nursing facilities in Sabatini’s district as of the 2010 census, and about 5 percent of the population he represents is age 80 or older. “Grandmas and grandpas die all the time” Spring outside of my Brooklyn apartment had been a symphony of sirens. If there’s a chance wearing a piece of cloth over my face will do something to help, that’s fine by me. It was an issue I posed to many of the anti-maskers: If I’m wrong, the worst that happens is I was a little uncomfortable at the grocery store in July. If you’re wrong, you and others could get sick and die. Is that worth the risk? “I don’t want to be responsible for killing anybody,” Gina, the Pennsylvania real estate agent, told me, though she still insisted the virus is overblown. “If the cases weren’t reported on anymore and talked about, coronavirus would be gone.” “I hear all the time, people are like, ‘I’d rather be safe than sorry, I don’t want to be a grandma killer.’ I’m sorry to sound so harsh,” Mak said, chuckling. “I’m laughing because grandmas and grandpas die all the time. It’s sad. But here’s the thing: It’s about blind obedience and compliance.” “When there is a vaccine, these are the same group of people who are saying they’re not getting a vaccine” As tempting as it is for many people to write off the anti-mask crowd, it’s not that simple. As Lois Parshley recently outlined for Vox, enforcing a mask mandate is a difficult and complex task. But it’s an important one: A lot of anti-maskers also have doubts about a vaccine, which public health experts say will be a crucial part of moving past the pandemic. “Masks are actually probably a proxy for not believing in science, not believing in experts,” Amherst College’s Sanderson said. “The challenge, of course, is when there is a vaccine, these are the same group of people who are saying they’re not getting a vaccine.” So how do you break through? As enticing as it may be for some people to shame and attack people who won’t wear a mask, it’s probably not the answer. “One of the challenges is that you need to bring people to your side without saying, ‘You’re stupid,’ because when it’s, ‘You’re stupid,’ it’s very hard to convince someone,” said Sanderson, who’s also the author of Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels, a book about social norms. As difficult (and at times contentious) some of the conversations were, across the board, everyone was extremely nice. They also sent follow-up information to try to get me to see things their way. It’s easy to see how, for someone who’s on the fence, you might get sucked in: If pro-mask Bob tells you you’re a murderer but anti-mask Sue tells you she’s got a video you should see, you might prefer to deal with Sue. Masks aren’t a panacea, Smith, from the University of Minnesota, said. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile. “We’re at this point where we are desperate in the United States,” she said. “I’m not about to argue anti-maskers down and say, ‘No, this will save everybody’s lives most definitely,’ but I think to reject it wholesale because some scientist changed their mind is really problematic.” Like it or not, we’re all in this together, mask on or mask off. And just like the science can change, minds can too. Liftman, the Massachusetts man who spoke with the Harvard epidemiologist who wrote about men who won’t wear masks, told me his conversation with the writer changed his mind. He felt like she showed compassion and didn’t condemn him. He’s still a little skeptical — he thinks it’s bad he’s supposed to wear a mask when ordering from the ice cream truck outside. But when he’s inside a store or in a crowded area, he gets it. While he still believes in individual liberty, he says it’s not just about himself, it’s also about the worker at the grocery store who doesn’t have a choice, and the person next to him in line. “I was kind of very skeptical about the whole thing. Is this about government control? Do we really need it? As the science has evolved, I’ve become more in line with the idea that we really should protect ourselves more often than I initially thought,” Liftman said. Speaking with Marcus, and another virologist he reached out to, made a difference. “It opened my eyes up to being a little bit more sensitive.” 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.
vox.com
Laid off, vulnerable, and far from home in wake of Beirut blast
Like many domestic workers in Beirut, Hanna was laid off from her job in recent months because of the country's deep economic crisis.
edition.cnn.com
They were laid off and far from home. Now an explosion in Beirut has left them even more vulnerable
Many domestic workers in Beirut were laid off from therr job in recent months because of the country's deep economic crisis. Now in the aftermath of the explosions, many say they are stranded and unable to return home.
edition.cnn.com
750 mile march marks the anniversary of MLK Jr's 'I Have A Dream Speech'
This group is marching 750 miles from Milwaukee to arrive in Washington DC on the 57th anniversary of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech.        
usatoday.com
TikTok threatens legal action against Trump’s executive order to ban app
TikTok has threatened legal action following President Trump's executive order banning transactions beginning in 45 days between American firms and the Chinese parent company of the app.
nypost.com
American Airlines employee at Phoenix airport dies from COVID-19. Here's what we know.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of Winsome Chua, an American Airlines employee in Phoenix who died of COVID-19.       
usatoday.com
Trump campaign launches bus tours through swing states
Trump family members and surrogates will be hitting the trail in person amid the coronavirus pandemic.
cbsnews.com
COVID model projects U.S. death toll could hit 300,000 by December
Nowhere in the U.S. is there more of a life and death struggle than on the Texas border, where doctors say they are desperate for help and hospital beds.
cbsnews.com
The Tuscan Landscape Deserves Top Billing in Liam Neeson Father-Son Drama Made in Italy
The father-son drama starring Neeson and his real-life son Micheál Richardson is ultimately less compelling than the lush Tuscan scenery
time.com
For Eddy Alvarez, dreams - plural - do come true: Olympic medalist debuts for Marlins at 30
The Miami Marlins' Eddy Alvarez made his MLB debut at 30 years old, and six years after earning a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.       
usatoday.com
Chronic fatigue syndrome a possible long-term effect of Covid-19, experts say
The long-term effects of Covid-19 aren't completely known, but experts say many who survive the disease could develop chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.
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Exercise, eat right, get good sleep: The top 3 ways to prevent so many diseases
Here are the top three science-based ways to improve your health and live a longer, disease-free life.
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Georgia High School Students Suspended for Social Media Posts Showing Packed Hallways
The school superintendent said the images were taken "out of context."
slate.com
Alaska cruise cut short after passenger tests positive for COVID-19
An Alaska cruise was cut short after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19.
abcnews.go.com
Inside Benjamin Bifalco’s alleged plot to fix an NCAA basketball game
Benjamin Bifalco graduated from Wagner College on Staten Island last year with a major in finance and minors in government and political science. But he did his most intense research for a senior project at which he failed miserably: attempting to fix an NCAA college basketball game. For this, he is now facing up to...
nypost.com
Jeff Bezos offers a clue to his $10 billion climate change strategy
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, is spending $10 billion to help combat climate change. | Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Amazon Bezos has quietly started a new corporation that appears involved in the historic push. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos quietly created a new corporation to help execute his $10 billion pledge to combat climate change, Recode has learned, offering a clue into the plan known as the Bezos Earth Fund, which has been shrouded in secrecy since it was announced half a year ago. Bezos’s team has started a new limited liability company, Fellowship Ventures LLC, that appears to be involved in the historic philanthropic commitment, according to public records reviewed by Recode. That LLC applied for the trademark — with Bezos’s hand-signed authorization — for the “Bezos Earth Fund” in July, a move that suggests the LLC will be key to his plans, or perhaps even run the charitable program outright. United States Patent and Trademark Office A screenshot from the trademark application filed by Fellowship Ventures LLC. The creation of the corporation is the first glimpse into the most serious philanthropic play yet by the world’s richest man, even as other details remain hidden. Bezos aides have consistently declined to share any information about his climate change giving — including basic questions about how it will be structured — since it was first announced in February. The details are essential because the $10 billion pledge, one of the largest individual charitable commitments ever, is expected to remake the world of climate change philanthropy. Questions abound: Will Bezos use any of the $10 billion to make donations to pro-climate-science political candidates or advocacy groups? Over what time period will Bezos give the money away? And what type of disclosures will Bezos share with academics, researchers, and reporters about where the money goes? If Bezos does plan to use this LLC to make the donations, it would limit transparency into the Earth Fund as LLCs are not required to file publicly available tax documents. Trademark experts tell Recode that it’s also possible, however, for the LLC to merely end up owning the trademark to the “Bezos Earth Fund” name and then lend that trademark to another to-be-created Bezos entity that may be structured in a more transparent way, such as a traditional foundation. Bezos’s team isn’t saying. Amazon declined to comment on Fellowship Ventures, and Bezos’s personal lawyers who signed the documents didn’t return Recode’s requests for comment. Bezos previously said he would start making grants to climate change organizations this summer. The Amazon founder isn’t done clinging to secrecy. The trademark application by Fellowship Ventures was filed first in Jamaica, a trick sometimes used by companies to shield information about their plans, trademark experts say, because Jamaica makes it impossible to access applications online. (A side note: Bezos’s ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, made headlines last week by announcing her own $1.7 billion in charitable donations. Scott is one of the world’s wealthiest people. And she, too, is using a less-transparent vehicle — a donor-advised fund — to make at least some of those gifts, two grantees tell Recode.) It’s likely that Fellowship Ventures is working on other projects on Bezos’s behalf, too, although the full scope of its work isn’t clear. Billionaires — and especially billionaires like Bezos, who is nearing a net worth of $200 billion — oversee vast empires to manage their personal affairs and family offices. They’ll create new LLCs to execute a particular real-estate deal, for instance, or to manage the work of a new contractor. Bezos’s empire includes his space-exploration company Blue Origin, his ownership of the Washington Post, and a clock in a hollowed-out Texas mountain that Bezos is building to last 10,000 years. That’s what makes the creation of yet another LLC all the more intriguing. Bezos already controls LLCs that help oversee his existing charitable work, including Zefram LLC, which owns the trademark to the “Bezos Day One Fund,” his philanthropy to combat homelessness and support education unveiled in 2018. One possibility is that a new vehicle was needed after Bezos’s costly — and no doubt financially complicated — divorce last summer. Fellowship Ventures was incorporated in Delaware last summer, too, according to records obtained by Recode. Zefram, for what it’s worth, is named after a fictional spaceship designer on Star Trek, a favorite of the Amazon founder. And the words “fellowship” and “venture,” too, have long held special meaning for Bezos — so much so that they’re part of his customary toast: “To adventure and fellowship!” “The word ‘fellowship’ conjures a vision of traveling down the road together. It has more ‘journey’ in it than friendship,” Bezos shared when interviewed by his brother in 2017. “Friendship is great too, but fellowship captures friendship and traveling down that path together.” Details like the name and the structure are some of the few scraps of insight into how the world’s wealthiest person is going to spend his billions. And that’s one of the big criticisms of billionaire philanthropy, that the mega-rich can release as much or as little information about their charitable gifts as they choose. 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.
vox.com
ShowBiz Minute: Domingo, West, Bush
After recovering from coronavirus, Placido Domingo vows to clear name; Republicans push Kanye 2020; Former President Bush pays tribute to immigrants in new book. (Aug. 7)        
usatoday.com
The week in pictures, Aug. 1-Aug. 7
Here's a selection of the most amazing images captured around the world in the past seven days. Enjoy!
foxnews.com
Laura Ingraham warns NRA lawsuit is a sign of things to come if Biden elected president
"The Democrats in New York are giving us a precursor of what will happen nationally if [Democratic presidential nominee] Joe Biden wins," Laura Ingraham said Thursday of New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit looking to "dissolve" the National Rifle Association.
foxnews.com
Coronavirus shutdown causes new risk at CDC: Legionnaire's disease
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has closed several buildings it leases in Atlanta because Legionella bacteria have been found in their water systems -- bacteria that likely grew because of the prolonged pandemic shutdown.
1 h
edition.cnn.com
Howard Kurtz on idea of Biden ditching debates: ‘Heads would have exploded’ if Trump skipped in 2016
Some in the media have raised the idea of pushing off presidential debates as a mechanism to keep Democrat Joe Biden out of the spotlight, Fox News “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz told “Fox News Rundown.”
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foxnews.com
Newt Gingrich: Trump could take down Schumer and Pelosi with this Reagan tactic
The right model for President Trump is President Ronald Reagan.
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foxnews.com
Johnny Depp's terrifyingly brutal role in 'Waiting for the Barbarians': What you need to know
Johnny Depp is moving from his tabloid trial to a terrifying role in "Waiting for the Barbarians." What to know about his sunglass-wearing Col. Joll.        
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