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NY Gov. Cuomo revises social distancing order amid First Amendment law suit

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo significantly revised a social distancing order on Friday, after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had accused him of unconstitutionally protecting religious services over other types of gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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Amazon workers sue over lax workplace policies in coronavirus crisis
Staten Island Amazon workers sued the company over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying lax workplace policies put them at risk of catching the deadly disease. The federal lawsuit aims to hold Amazon legally accountable for what workers say are insufficient efforts to protect them from the coronavirus, which has reportedly killed at least...
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nypost.com
Giant restaurant rat ignored by grossed-out employees
A giant rat was spotted behind the counter at a Wendy’s Milk Bar in Midland Gate, Australia. Video shows workers at the Australian ice cream franchise not addressing the rat in the room as they continued to serve customers. “They know it’s there,” patron Michelle Pellegrino said. “They could at least kick it out of...
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nypost.com
Rudy Giuliani and Piers Morgan have heated on-air exchange over Trump
Rudy Giuliani and “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan got into a heated and loud exchange on Thursday during an interview about whether President Trump used racist language in remarks about the outbreaks of looting during the George Floyd protests. The former Big Apple mayor, appearing on the show from New York blamed the “left-wing...
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nypost.com
Houses swept away in powerful landslide
Several houses have been swept into the sea following a powerful landslide in Alta municipality, northern Norway, on Wednesday.
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edition.cnn.com
Facebook will start labeling pages and posts from state-controlled media
Facebook will start labeling the pages, posts and advertisements of state-controlled media outlets, the social media giant announced Thursday.
edition.cnn.com
Cuomo still stands by coronavirus nursing home order despite death toll
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday yet again doubled down on his decision to send coronavirus patients to nursing homes from hospitals — despite it potentially factoring in to more than 5,000 deaths. The governor reiterated a March 25 health department mandate that required all nursing homes to accept residents who tested positive for COVID-19. “So...
nypost.com
Rep. Crow slams Trump's military use at protests
A former Army Ranger who now serves in Congress, Rep. Jason Crow, criticized President Donald Trump's threats to use military forces to end street protests. He thinks military leaders should speak out against Trump, even if it risks their jobs. (June 4)       
usatoday.com
Why Google is giving every employee $1,000 to work from home
Most of Google's US workforce has been working remotely since March due to the coronavirus. And last month, CEO Sundar Pichai said he expects most employees will largely be working from home for the rest of the year.
edition.cnn.com
When it comes to embracing black talent, fashion needs to do better
Fashion brands supported #BlackoutTuesday on Instagram, but is that really enough?
latimes.com
Attack on NYPD officers being investigated as possible act of terrorism, source says
An unprovoked stabbing attack of a New York Police Department officer that ended with two other officers with gunshot wounds and a suspect in critical condition is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
edition.cnn.com
NFL coaches allowed to return to team facilities on Friday
Coaches will be allowed to return to NFL team facilities beginning Friday as the league continues preparation for training camps and its season.
foxnews.com
Drew Brees’ apology rings hollow for some athletes
Drew Brees’ effort at damage control has missed the mark for some. The Saints’ star quarterback tried to walk back his controversial Wednesday comments — in which he said he would never support players who kneeled during the national anthem — writing on Instagram that he is not the enemy and “it breaks my heart...
nypost.com
Republican senators shrug off Mattis' criticism of Trump: 'It's his opinion'
Republican senators are dismissing the scathing criticism leveled against President Donald Trump by his former defense secretary, James Mattis, the latest sign that Republicans by and large are showing unwavering support for the leader of their party during this high-stakes election year.
edition.cnn.com
Philippines anti-terror bill sparks protest boosted by Taylor Swift
Opponents say Rodrigo Duterte's government could use the vague legislation to silence dissent, and the U.S. pop star pointed people to a petition against it.
cbsnews.com
Alan Hinton blames question marks, conspiracy after ‘racist’ tweet firing by MLS’ Sounders
Another sports broadcaster has lost his job because of a controversial tweet. Seattle Sounders FC parted ways with Alan Hinton, according to the Seattle Times, after the franchise’s brand ambassador, former coach and television broadcaster on Monday tweeted about his experience with black players. “Let me make clear I am not a racist?” wrote Hinton,...
nypost.com
Tomi Lahren spoke to Black Lives Matter leader calling for armed patrols to counter police brutality
Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren sat down with the chairman of the Black Lives Matter chapter of New York in February 2020.
foxnews.com
As DC militarizes amid George Floyd protests, some experts say it's gone too far
This week, Washington, D.C. residents saw an increased presence of federal law enforcement agencies in the city.
abcnews.go.com
Virginia governor announces removal of Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the would be removing one of the country's most iconic monuments to the Confederacy - a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond's bucolic tree-lined Monument Avenue. 
foxnews.com
Senate Democrats, some kneeling, honor George Floyd with moment of silence at Capitol
Senate Democrats stood in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at the Capitol to honor the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.        
usatoday.com
White defendant in shooting death of Georgia black man used racial slur, investigator says
One of the white men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia used a racial slur after shooting the unarmed black man and before police arrived at the scene, an investigator for the prosecution in the case told a court hearing on Thursday.
reuters.com
As America reopens, we need to offer caregivers a lot more support
In this transitional period of the pandemic, companies and managers should pursue giving caregivers the time they need — particularly in terms of time off — and to create a work culture where they can use it.
edition.cnn.com
Colts' GM Chris Ballard admits he's been ignorant to racism: 'Black lives matter'
Colts general manager Chris Ballard passionately addressed racism during an impromptu media availability Thursday.       
usatoday.com
Thousands Who Got COVID-19 in March Are Still Sick
For Vonny LeClerc, day one was March 16.Hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instated stringent social-distancing measures to halt the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, LeClerc, a Glasgow-based journalist, arrived home feeling shivery and flushed. Over the next few days, she developed a cough, chest pain, aching joints, and a prickling sensation on her skin. After a week of bed rest, she started improving. But on day 12, every old symptom returned, amplified and with reinforcements: She spiked an intermittent fever, lost her sense of taste and smell, and struggled to breathe.When I spoke with LeClerc on day 66, she was still experiencing waves of symptoms. “Before this, I was a fit, healthy 32-year-old,” she said. “Now I’ve been reduced to not being able to stand up in the shower without feeling fatigued. I’ve tried going to the supermarket and I’m in bed for days afterwards. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.” Despite her best efforts, LeClerc has not been able to get a test, but “every doctor I’ve spoken to says there’s no shadow of a doubt that this has been COVID,” she said. Today is day 80.COVID-19 has existed for less than six months, and it is easy to forget how little we know about it. The standard view is that a minority of infected people, who are typically elderly or have preexisting health problems, end up in critical care, requiring oxygen or a ventilator. About 80 percent of infections, according to the World Health Organization, “are mild or asymptomatic,” and patients recover after two weeks, on average. Yet support groups on Slack and Facebook host thousands of people like LeClerc, who say they have been wrestling with serious COVID-19 symptoms for at least a month, if not two or three. Some call themselves “long-termers” or “long-haulers.”I interviewed nine of them for this story, all of whom share commonalities. Most have never been admitted to an ICU or gone on a ventilator, so their cases technically count as “mild.” But their lives have nonetheless been flattened by relentless and rolling waves of symptoms that make it hard to concentrate, exercise, or perform simple physical tasks. Most are young. Most were previously fit and healthy. “It is mild relative to dying in a hospital, but this virus has ruined my life,” LeClerc said. “Even reading a book is challenging and exhausting. What small joys other people are experiencing in lockdown—yoga, bread baking—are beyond the realms of possibility for me.”Even though the world is consumed by concern over COVID-19, the long-haulers have been largely left out of the narrative and excluded from the figures that define the pandemic. I can pull up an online dashboard that reveals the numbers of confirmed cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and recoveries—but LeClerc falls into none of those categories. She and others are trapped in a statistical limbo, uncounted and thus overlooked.Some have been diagnosed through tests, while others, like LeClerc, have been told by their doctors that they almost certainly have COVID-19. Still, many long-haulers have faced disbelief from friends and medical professionals because they don’t conform to the typical profile of the disease. People have questioned how they could possibly be so sick for so long, or whether they’re just stressed or anxious. “It feels like no one understands,” said Chloe Kaplan from Washington, D.C., who works in education and is on day 78. “I don’t think people are aware of the middle ground, where it knocks you off your feet for weeks, and you neither die nor have a mild case.”The notion that most cases are mild and brief bolsters the belief that only the sick and elderly need isolate themselves, and that everyone else can get infected and be done with it. “It establishes a framework in which ‘not hiding’ from the disease looks a manageable and sensible undertaking,” writes Felicity Callard, a geographer at the University of Glasgow, who is on day 77. As the pandemic discourse turns to talk of a second wave, long-haulers who are still grappling with the consequences of the first wave are frustrated. “I’ve been very concerned by friends and family who just aren’t taking this seriously because they think you’re either asymptomatic or dead,” said Hannah Davis, an artist from New York City, who is on day 71. “This middle ground has been hellish.”It “has been like nothing else on Earth,” said Paul Garner, who has previously endured dengue fever and malaria, and is currently on day 77 of COVID-19. Garner, an infectious-diseases professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, leads a renowned organization that reviews scientific evidence on preventing and treating infections. He tested negative on day 63. He had waited to get a COVID-19 test partly to preserve them for health-care workers, and partly because, at one point, he thought he was going to die. “I knew I had the disease; it couldn’t have been anything else,” he told me. I asked him why he thought his symptoms had persisted. "I honestly don’t know," he said. "I don’t understand what’s happening in my body."On March 17, a day after LeClerc came down with her first symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 sent Fiona Lowenstein to the hospital. Nine days later, after she was discharged, she started a Slack support group for people struggling with the disease. The group, which is affiliated with a wellness organization founded by Lowenstein called Body Politic, has been a haven for long-haulers. One channel for people whose symptoms have lasted longer than 30 days has more than 3,700 members.“The group was a savior for me,” said Gina Assaf, a design consultant in Washington, D.C., who is now on day 77. She and other members with expertise in research and survey design have now sampled 640 people from the Body Politic group and beyond. Their report is neither representative nor peer-reviewed, but it provides a valuable snapshot of the long-hauler experience.Of those surveyed, about three in five are between the ages of 30 and 49. About 56 percent have not been hospitalized, while another 38 percent have visited the ER but were not admitted. About a quarter have tested positive for COVID-19 and almost half have never been tested at all. Some became sick in mid-March, when their home countries were severely short on tests. (Most survey respondents live in the U.S. and the U.K.) Others were denied testing because their symptoms didn’t match the standard set. Angela Meriquez Vázquez, a children’s activist in Los Angeles, had gastrointestinal problems and lost her sense of smell, but because she didn’t have a cough and her fever hadn’t topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, she didn’t meet L.A.’s testing criteria. By the time those criteria were loosened, Vázquez was on day 14. She got a test, and it came back negative. (She is now on day 69.)A quarter of respondents in the Body Politic survey have tested negative, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have COVID-19. Diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 miss infections up to 30 percent of the time, and these false negatives become more likely a week after a patient’s first symptoms appear. In the Body Politic survey, respondents with negative test results were tested a week after those with positive ones, on average, but the groups did not differ in their incidence of 60 different symptoms over time. Those matching patterns strongly suggest that those with negative tests are indeed dealing with the same disease. They also suggest that the true scope of the pandemic has been underestimated, not just because of the widespread lack of testing but because many people who are getting tested are receiving false negatives.COVID-19 affects many different organs—that much is now clear. But in March, when many long-haulers were first falling sick with gut, heart, and brain problems, the disease was still regarded as a mainly respiratory one. To date, the only neurological symptom that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists in its COVID-19 description is a loss of taste or smell. But other neurological symptoms are common among the long-haulers who answered the Body Politic survey.As many people reported “brain fogs” and concentration challenges as coughs or fevers. Some have experienced hallucinations, delirium, short-term memory loss, or strange vibrating sensations when they touch surfaces. Others are likely having problems with their sympathetic nervous system, which controls unconscious processes like heartbeats and breathing: They’ll be out of breath even when their oxygen level is normal, or experience what feel like heart attacks even though EKG readings and chest X-rays are clear. These symptoms wax, wane, and warp over time. “It really is a grab bag,” said Davis, who is a co-author of the Body Politic survey. “Every day you wake up and you might have a different symptom.”It’s not clear why this happens. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale, offers three possibilities. Long-haulers might still harbor infectious virus in some reservoir organ, which is missed by tests that use nasal swabs. Or persistent fragments of viral genes, though not infectious, may still be triggering a violent immune overreaction, as if “you’re reacting to a ghost of a virus,” Iwasaki says. More likely, the virus is gone but the immune system, having been provoked by it, is stuck in a lingering overactive state.It’s hard to distinguish between these hypotheses, because SARS-CoV-2 is new and because the aftermath of viral infections is poorly understood. Many diseases cause long-lasting symptoms, but these might go unnoticed as trends unless epidemics are especially large. “Nearly every single person with Ebola has some long-term chronic complication, from subtle to obviously debilitating,” says Craig Spencer of the Columbia University Medical Center, who caught the virus himself in 2014. Some of those persistent problems had been noted during early Ebola outbreaks, but weren’t widely appreciated until 28,600 people were infected in West Africa from 2013 to 2016.The sheer scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, which reached more than 6 million confirmed cases worldwide in a matter of months, means that long-haulers are now finding one another in sufficient numbers to shape their own narrative.As the pandemic continues, long-haulers are navigating a landscape of uncertainty and fear with a map whose landmarks don’t reflect their surroundings. If your symptoms last for longer than two weeks, for how long should you expect to be sick? If they differ from the official list, how do you know which ones are important? “I’m acutely aware of my body at all times of the day,” LeClerc told me. “It shrinks your entire world to an almost reptilian response to your surroundings.”If you’re still symptomatic, could you conceivably infect someone else if you leave your home? Garner, the infectious disease expert, is confident that this far out, he’s not shedding live virus anymore. But Meg Hamilton, who is a nursing student in Odenton, Maryland—and, full disclosure, my sister-in-law—said that her local health department considered her to be contagious as long as she had a fever; she is on day 56, and has only had a few normal temperature readings. Davis said that she and her partner, who live in different apartments, talked through the risks and decided to reunite on day 59. Until then, she had been dealing with two months of COVID-19 alone.The isolation of the pandemic has been hard enough for many healthy people. But it has exacerbated the foggy minds, intense fatigue, and perpetual fear of erratic symptoms that long-haulers are also dealing with. “It plays with your head, man,” Garner said. Some feel guilt over being incapacitated even though their cases are “mild.” Some start doubting or blaming themselves. In her fourth week of fever, Hamilton began obsessively worrying that she had been using her thermometer incorrectly. “I also felt like I wasn’t being mentally strong enough, and by allowing myself to say that I don’t feel good, I was prolonging the fever,” she said.Then there’s the matter of who to tell—and when. At first, Hamilton kept the news from her parents. She didn’t want them to worry, and she assumed she’d be better in two weeks. But as two weeks became three, then four, then five, the omission started feeling like an outright lie. Her concern that they would be worried morphed into concern that they would be mad. (She finally told them last week; they took it well.)Other long-haulers have been frustrated by their friends’ and families’ inability to process a prolonged illness. “People know how to react to you having it or to you getting better,” LeClerc said. But when symptoms are rolling instead of abating, “people don’t have a response they can reach for.” They ask if she’s improving, in expectation that the answer is yes. When the answer is instead a list of ever-changing symptoms, they stop asking. Others pivot to disbelief. “I’ve had messages saying this is all in your head, or it’s anxiety,” LeClerc said.Many such messages come from doctors and nurses. Davis described her memory loss and brain fog to a neurologist, who told her she had ADHD. “You feel really scared: These are people you’re trying to get serious help from, and they don’t even understand your reality,” she said. Vázquez said her physicians repeatedly told her she was just having panic attacks—but she knows herself well enough to discount that. “My anxiety is thought-based,” but with COVID-19, “the physical symptoms happen first,” she said.Athena Akrami, a neuroscience professor at University College London, said two doctors suggested that she was stressed, while a fellow neuroscientist told her to calm down and take antidepressants. “I’m a very calm person, and something is wrong in my body,” said Akrami, who is now on day 79, and is also a co-author on the Body Politic survey. “As a scientist, I understand there are so many unknowns about the virus, but as a patient, I need acknowledgment.” Every day, Akrami said, “is like being in a tunnel.”To be sure, many health-care workers are also exhausted, having spent several months fighting a new disease that they barely understand, without enough masks and other protective supplies. But well before the pandemic, the health-care profession had a long history of medical gaslighting—downplaying a patient’s physical suffering as being all in their head, or caused by stress or anxiety. Such dismissals particularly affect women, who are “less likely to be perceived as credible witnesses to our own experiences,” said LeClerc. And they’re especially common when women have subjective symptoms like pain or fatigue, as most long-haulers do. When Garner wrote about those same symptoms for the British Medical Journal’s blog, “I had an unbelievable feeling of relief,” Callard, the geographer, told me. “Since he’s a guy and a professor of infectious disease, he has the kind of epistemic authority that will be harder to discount.”Garner’s reaction is similar to those of many long-haulers who have been taken less seriously. “It wasn’t like he wrote those posts in some arcane language that’s steeped in authority,” said Sarah Ramey, a musician and author in Washington, D.C. “If you took his words, put my name on them, and put them up on Medium, people would say, ‘Ugh, who is this person and what is she talking about?’”Ramey can empathize with long-haulers. In her memoir, The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness, she writes about her 17-year ordeal of excruciating pain, crushing fatigue, gastro-catastrophes, and medical gaslighting. “Being isolated and homebound, incredible economic insecurity, the government not doing enough, testing not being up to snuff—all of that is the lived experience of someone like me for decades,” she says. “The illness itself is horrible and ravaging, but being told you’ve made it up, over and over again, is by far the worst of it.”Formally, Ramey has myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and complex regional pain syndrome. Informally, she’s part of a group she has dubbed WOMIs—women with mysterious illnesses. Such conditions include ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. They disproportionately affect women; have unclear causes, complex but debilitating symptoms, and no treatments; and are hard to diagnose and easy to dismiss. According to the Institute of Medicine, 836,000 to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone have ME/CFS. Between 84 and 91 percent are undiagnosed.That clusters of ME/CFS have followed many infectious outbreaks is noteworthy. In such events, some people get better quickly, others are sick for longer with postviral fatigue, and still others are suffering months or years later. In one Australian study, 11 percent of people infected with Ross River virus, Epstein-Barr virus, or the bacterium behind Q fever were diagnosed with ME/CFS after six months. In a study of 233 Hong Kong residents who survived the SARS epidemic of 2003, about 40 percent had chronic-fatigue problems after three years or so, and 27 percent met the CDC’s criteria for ME/CFS. Many different acute pathogens seem to trigger the same inflammatory responses that culminate in the same chronic endgame. Many individuals in this community are worried about COVID-19, according to Ramey: “You’ve got this highly infectious virus sweeping around the world, and it would be unusual if you didn’t see a big uptick in ME/CFS cases.”ME/CFS is typically diagnosed when symptoms persist for six months or more, and the new coronavirus has barely been infecting humans for that long. Still, the long-haulers’ symptoms “sound exactly like those that patients in our community experience,” says Jennifer Brea, the executive director of the advocacy group #MEAction.LeClerc, Akrami, and others have noted that their symptoms reappear when they try to regain a measure of agency by cleaning, working out, or even doing yoga. This is post-exertional malaise—the defining feature of ME/CFS. It’s a severe multi-organ crash that follows activity as light as a short walk. It’s also distinct from mere exhaustion: You can’t just push through it, and you’ll feel much worse if you try. The ME/CFS community has learned that resting as much as possible in the early months of postviral fatigue is crucial. Garner learned that lesson the hard way. After writing that “my disease has lifted,” he did a high-intensity workout, and was bedridden for three days. He is now reading literature about ME/CFS and listening to his sister, who has had the disease. “We have much to learn from that community,” he says.The symptoms of ME/CFS have long been trivialized; its patients disbelieved; its researchers underfunded. The condition is especially underdiagnosed among black and brown communities, who are also disproportionately likely to be infected and killed by COVID-19. If the pandemic creates a large population of people who have symptoms that are similar to those of ME/CFS, it might trigger research into this and other overlooked diseases. Several teams of scientists are already planning studies of COVID-19 patients to see if any become ME/CFS patients—and why. Brea says she would welcome such a development. But she also feels “a lot of grief for people who may have to walk that path, [and] grief for the time we could have spent over the last four decades researching this so we’d have a better understanding of how to treat patients now.” Some long-haulers will get better. The Body Politic Slack support group has a victories channel, where people post about promising moments on the road to recovery. Such stories were scarce last month, but more have appeared in the past weeks. The celebrations are always tentative, though. Good days are intermingled with terrible ones. “It’s a reverse-circling of the drain,” Vázquez said. “It has gotten better, but I track that trajectory in weeks, not days.” The COVID-19 dashboard from Johns Hopkins shows that about 2.7 million people around the world have “recovered” from the disease. But recovery is not a simple matter of flipping a switch. For some, it will take more time than the entire duration of the pandemic thus far.Some survivors will have scar tissue from the coronavirus’s assault on their lungs. Some will still be weak after lengthy stays in ICUs or on ventilators. Some will eventually diagnosed with ME/CFS. Whatever the case, as the pandemic progresses, the number of people with medium-to-long-term disabilities will increase. “Some science fiction—and more than a few tech bros—have led us to believe in a nondisabled future,” says Ashley Shew of Virginia Tech, who studies the intersection between technology and disability. “But whether through environmental catastrophe, or new viruses, we can expect more, exacerbated, and new disabilities.”In the early 1950s, polio permanently disabled tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year, most of whom were children or teenagers who “saw their futures as able and healthy,” Shew says. In the ’60s and ’70s, those survivors became pioneers of the disability-rights movement in the U.S.Perhaps COVID-19 will similarly galvanize an even larger survivor cohort. Perhaps, collectively, they can push for a better understanding of neglected chronic diseases, and an acceptance of truths that the existing disability community have long known. That health and sickness are not binary. That medicine is as much about listening to patients’ subjective experiences as it is about analyzing their organs. That being a survivor is something you must also survive.
theatlantic.com
Cleveland Browns' all-time Mount Rushmore: 4 best players in franchise history
Who are the greatest players in Cleveland Browns franchise history?
foxnews.com
I Can't Breathe: Braving Tear Gas In a Pandemic
The first time I was teargassed, in Istanbul, Turkey, I thought I was going to die. Overwhelming pain flooded my eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. I couldn’t breathe. The most recent time I was teargassed, in November in Hong Kong, I paused to assess the situation, and nonchalantly reached for my mask in my backpack.I had ducked into a building in the middle of Hong Kong’s swirling protests and had walked out, unexpectedly, into a cloud of tear gas. I wasn’t calm because I had somehow mutated to become resistant to tear gas. But like every protester in sustained political movements, I had been through the experience enough times to know what to expect. I knew about the first moment of existential horror, the shock of losing one’s breath, and the deep indignation of being gassed like an insect. I knew how to acclimate, adjust, and gear up. If you’re teargassed repeatedly, as I have been as an academic researching protest movements, you learn how to hold your breath and close your eyes. You learn how to avoid gulping a huge amount of wretched air in sheer panic, and how to quickly move toward an area with less concentrated gas. Most important, you learn to acquire a full-face respirator that keeps the gas out.Being teargassed during a pandemic, as so many have been this past week in the United States, is a different experience. Tear gas is a major irritant to one’s throat, nose, and lungs, the very places the coronavirus attaches in order to start its silent invasion. The U.S. Army found that recruits who were exposed to tear gas—to ensure that their first shocking experience with the weapon is in a controlled environment—had more respiratory illnesses in the following days. A study from Turkey similarly found chronic respiratory problems, persisting for years, among activists, journalists, and students frequently exposed to tear gas. Many reported ongoing dyspnea—the medical term for “I can’t breathe.”Now some of the millions of people who turned out in the streets to protest the killing of black people by the police with apparent impunity are being suffocated, momentarily, by clouds of gas. Many are protected by little more than cloth masks because, in a pandemic, how do you get respirators? If doctors cannot find them, millions of protesters aren’t going to be able to procure them.The response to being teargassed follows a typical pattern: shock, outrage, gear up. In the summer of 2019 in Hong Kong, at the beginning of their latest protest wave, when tear gas landed near the crowds, there would often be panic and screaming (a bad way to gulp air!) and confused running (which can be dangerous by itself). Only a few months later, Hong Kong’s frontline protesters showed up clad in standard-issue global protester gear: respirators, helmets, and long sleeves. They also learned the trick beloved by many movements: using heat-resistant gloves to toss canisters back at the police or to dunk them in water. Sometimes they swatted the canisters back at the police with badminton rackets. When the police charged to arrest them, they ran so that they could fight another day, but they almost never ran from the gas.Extreme soccer fans, used to having rowdy interactions with the police, have also learned to acclimate to the gas and gear up. These fans can become frontline fighters of protest movements, as the so-called ultras (devoted soccer fans) did during the Arab Spring, or as the left-leaning “Çarşı/Beşiktaş soccer club” fans did in Gezi Park protests in 2013. In one remarkable video from those protests, Çarşı soccer fans in their home neighborhood of Beşiktaş, Istanbul, can be seen chanting defiantly in the middle of gas so thick that the police aren’t visible, although it’s possible to make out the protesters’ middle fingers.In a non-pandemic world, tear gas will disperse marchers for a week or two while they gear up, but it will shock and anger them for years, something I heard from many protesters among the growing global fraternity of the teargassed—such a common experience that I titled my book on 21st-century social movements Twitter and Tear Gas. The indignation and rage that follow the experience can propel people from being casual participants to lifelong activists.For many people, tear gas is their first interaction with state violence. It’s the first time they’ve been treated like an insect, usually by police geared up like robocops. That warlike stance is a strong escalatory agent in a protest. It’s common sense: Aggression from the police will fuel escalation. This is confirmed by decades of research: Combative and belligerent police action is often pivotal to starting and escalating a cycle of violence. After decades of research, I’ve personally concluded that perhaps the single most effective police action for crowd control would be for the police to show up dressed like humans, not terminators. But crowd control is often not the point of state violence. Its goal is usually to put people in their place, to “dominate,” as the president has called for. Viewed through that lens, it’s no wonder that tear gas is a tool of choice. Tear gas will enrage, but not deter. It will hurt and maim, but not de-escalate.Tear gas is among the so-called cluster of nonlethal weapons—also including rubber bullets and water cannons—but those are anything but when shot directly at people, a too-common occurrence, rather than upward at a 45-degree angle, as they are supposed to be used. Already, two U.S. journalists have lost an eye this week, one from a tear-gas-canister strike, the other from a tracer bullet.In one incident in Miami, witnessed by reporters, the protester LaToya Ratlieff had been kneeling on the ground, urging the police in riot gear in front of her to stop teargassing the protesters. She was teargassed anyway. Choking, she stumbled, and another woman tried to lead her to safety, a moment captured in a photo by a reporter. Moments later, as Ratlieff was walking away, a police officer took direct aim at her—with no warning. Someone yelled at him to stop, but he fired anyway, hitting her with a projectile. Ratlieff, a black woman, was lucky by the standards of how these things usually go. Though her eye socket and skull were cracked, she will likely not lose her eye. She joins many victims around the world who have suffered from concussions, skull fractures, blindness, and even death due to such deliberate direct shots. Many human-rights organizations have repeatedly called for banning or greatly limiting their use, but they have made little progress. That’s why I keep my helmet on at all times in protest areas, and if tear gas is being fired, I’ll put on my shatterproof goggles before reaching for my gas mask.But during a pandemic, the risk isn’t just flying rubber bullets or tear-gas canisters. The protesters descending on America’s streets this past week face an extra risk from the coronavirus, especially if they’re crowded into buses, jails, or other detention spaces—the very settings, indoors, crowded, and unventilated, that we now know lead to super-spreader events. Epidemiologists have been providing harm-reduction advice on how to protest as safely as possible. Wear a mask. Keep distance. Protesters can chant and yell, which produce the respiratory droplets that spread the virus. Maybe more signs and drums, less chanting. Stick with a small group to reduce unknown contacts. Given that this virus doesn’t seem to spread as effectively outdoors, a properly distanced protest with people wearing masks may be a relatively low-risk event. But that’s only if everyone cooperates—including the authorities. There have been videos of police pulling down protesters’ masks in order to pepper-spray them, of people being teargassed against steep hillsides that trap them, making them unable to escape the suffocating cloud. Many protesters report being shoved into packed buses, being housed in crowded garages, and being kept in jails without medical attention or the ability to distance. That’s one way to create new super-spreader events.Some conservative commentators, especially those who oppose the ongoing lockdown policies, have been expressing frustration that beachgoers and park attendees have been scolded and shamed both by the media and on social media, while protesters have mainly received sympathy. They have a point; the scolding and shaming of park-goers and beachgoers was way overdone. But protesting police brutality and structural racism is an essential activity.Most important, protesting is not about avoiding all risk. Protesting is about putting yourself out there despite all the risk, from the police and the virus, to engage in an act of shared vulnerability to make a political point: This will not stand. While I do keep my helmet on when interviewing protesters, I keep my mask in my backpack. A full-face mask also blocks eye contact and looks alien. If my interview subjects may be unpleasantly shocked by the sudden bang of tear-gas particles enveloping us, I don’t want to be more protected than they are.And that’s the most remarkable part of these protests, now in their second sustained week nationwide. It’s not that the protesters are unaware of the risks; it’s that they are out there in spite of these risks, to say that black lives matter. Eric Garner couldn’t breathe. George Floyd couldn’t breathe. And now, by showing up day after day, even amid a widespread crackdown, the protesters are facing the risk of not just the tear gas that will cut off their breath, but also the very disease whose hallmark is dyspnea, the inability to breathe.
theatlantic.com
Myanmar jails doctor for insulting monks during debate over sex education
A Myanmar court has sentenced a doctor to 21 months in jail after convicting him of insulting Buddhist monks in connection with a debate about a proposal to teach sex education in schools. Kyaw Win Thant, 31, was arrested in May after angry scenes at a monastery in the central city of Meiktila, where he...
nypost.com
NYPD: 'No more tolerance,' curfew will be enforced
Peaceful protests in NYC over the death of George Floyd drew thousands of people Wednesday, but were broken up by police as rain poured down about an hour after the city's 8 p.m. curfew went into effect. (June 4)       
usatoday.com
Asteroid the size of Empire State Building may zoom past Earth this weekend
An asteroid as big as the Empire State Building is hurtling toward Earth and is expected to whiz by Saturday in a relative close call, according to reports. Named 2002 NN4, the giant space rock is estimated to be between 820 to 1,870 feet in diameter, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CBS News reported....
nypost.com
Lindsey Graham fires back at Gen. Mattis: You're buying into an 'unfair' narrative
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reacted on Thursday to former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ criticism of President Trump’s handling of the unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody saying, “It is so fashionable to blame President Trump for every wrong in America.”
foxnews.com
'Oppression in US has been going on for 400 years,' says NFL star quarterback
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson says he is "staggered" by events in the US in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd.
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Players responding to Drew Brees
Sports Pulse: After Drew Brees made comments about players protesting, here are some reactions from the players        
usatoday.com
Kim Zolciak responds to claims she altered swimsuit photo
The "Don't Be Tardy" star responded to criticism after posting a photo of herself in a one-piece swimsuit.
nypost.com
Doctors in Spain are wheeling recovering coronavirus patients to the beach
Doctors in Barcelona have reportedly been taking coronavirus patients the beach as part of their recovery process. Photos that were taken this week show doctors from Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar wheeling patients to the seaside, according to a report. The attempt to humanize its intensive care units comes as Spain has eased restrictions amid declining...
nypost.com
People are saving more than ever. Here's where to stash your cash
With many Americans facing an uncertain financial future as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are saving up cash.
edition.cnn.com
Wildfire in California destroys several homes, forces evacuations
Several homes were destroyed and others sustained damage after a wildfire burned through a neighborhood in Northern California on Wednesday, according to officials.
foxnews.com
The George Floyd protests are sparking a surprising debate in black America
Is nonviolent resistance no longer effective? Should white allies just sit this one out? Will the protests help re-elect Trump? There's a vigorous debate in the black community about these and other questions.
edition.cnn.com
Protests are sparking a surprising debate in black America
Omar Wasow is a researcher who works in a world of charts and data. But his analytical reserve cracked after watching a video of George Floyd dying while being arrested by police.
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Country stars gather for CMT special honoring everyday heroes amid protests, COVID-19 pandemic
With the annual "CMT Music Awards" postponed, some of the biggest country artists in the business gathered virtually for a TV special that highlighted the bravery of essential workers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
foxnews.com
Democrats hold moment of silence for George Floyd
Democratic Senators hold an 8 minute and 46 seconds moment of silence on Capitol Hill to honor the memory of George Floyd and others killed in racial violence. (June 4)       
usatoday.com
Pandemic and racial unrest test black clergy
For black clergy across the United States, the past 10 days have been a tumultuous test of their stamina and skills. Minneapolis Imam Makram El-Amin says the role of faith leaders is to be a voice of calm. (June 4)       
usatoday.com
Porn star arrested for photog’s death from inhaling toad venom
The photographer ingested the venom as part of a shamanic ritual.
nypost.com
NYC looters caught on video stealing $16,000 worth of drones
New York City police are searching Thursday for five suspects caught on video breaking into a store in Times Square and making off with six drones worth a combined $16,000. 
foxnews.com
Covid-19 the greatest health crisis of our generation - UN chief
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White House ‘frustrated’ with Esper but ‘nobody wants a Cabinet-level shakeup’: sources
Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s job may be secure, at least for the time being, despite his press briefing Wednesday in which he pushed back against President Trump’s suggestion that the military be considered to quell violent protests following George Floyd's death.
foxnews.com
ECB policymakers debated 500-750 billion euros package before compromise, sources say
European Central Bank policymakers debated expanding their pandemic-fighting programme by between 500 billion euros ($566 billion) and 750 billion euros on Thursday before settling for a compromise figure, three sources told Reuters.
reuters.com
LIVE: Gov. Cuomo holds a press briefing
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference to give an update on the state’s coronavirus response.
nypost.com
Against the Insurrection Act
Senator Tom Cotton argued Wednesday in The New York Times that given the rioting and looting in multiple U.S. cities, “it’s past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority.” Some governors have mobilized the National Guard, the Arkansas Republican observed, yet others refuse to or are still overwhelmed. “In these circumstances,” he wrote, “the Insurrection Act authorizes the president to employ the military.” The op-ed dovetailed with President Trump’s June 1 statement that if a city or state “refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”Use of the Insurrection Act to quell domestic riots is not unprecedented. For example, it was invoked in 1992 during the Los Angeles riots. Nor is it without appeal to some Americans–and not just authoritarians. Some approve of and trust the military far more than municipal police departments that they find corrupt and abusive. And conceivably the military would quell riots with less loss of life than would cops in some areas, and be more diligent than some police departments in distinguishing lawful protest from rioting.[Adam Serwer: Trump gave police permission to be brutal ]Still, the approach would risk catastrophe. Local leaders and police officers are more accountable to the people than soldiers are, and they know their needs better than Washington politicians do. Where extra help is needed, the National Guard, under the command of governors, is up to stopping riots. Deploying troops against the wishes of state and city leaders would only inflame passions, and could provoke a constitutional crisis.Perhaps that’s why Secretary of Defense Mark Esper opposes the move. “The option to use active-duty forces in a law-enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” he said yesterday in a press conference. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”Those reasons alone are sufficient to reject the approach. Yet another concern should loom even larger: Trump has shown himself unfit to lead the sorts of operations under discussion.From the start, Trump has fanned the flames. Last month, he tweeted: “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” But the Fourth Amendment prohibits simply shooting looters unless they pose an imminent threat to a person. In other words, he has already suggested responses that would violate his oath of office.More recently, Trump misused federal troops in Washington, D.C., where they are already deployed under his control. “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” General James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, wrote afterward. “Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”[Read: James Mattis denounces President Trump, describes him as a threat to the Constitution]Mattis went on to warn that militarizing our response sets up a false conflict between the military and civilians, eroding the moral ground “that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part.”That caution would apply under any president. “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,’” Mattis added. “At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors.”But the president is a man who once said this about the murder of peaceful protesters:“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square,” he told Playboy magazine in the March 1990 issue, “the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength.” Trump continued, “That shows you the power of strength."No president has ever been less morally or temperamentally fit to lead an effort to quell unrest. And the public is primed with rational distrust that will undermine him from the start should he attempt it. Congress should consider repealing the Insurrection Act, lest he invoke the law anyway
theatlantic.com
REMINDER: We *still* know very, very little about Donald Trump's medical history
The White House released the results of President Donald Trump's annual physical on Wednesday, largely to a ho-hum reception.
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