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Russia accuses U.S. of trying to "provoke war" with Iran

China also urges restraint from Iran, but puts blame for soaring tension in Mideast largely on Trump administration after troop surge announcement
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Second White House journalist tests positive for coronavirus this week
A second White House journalist has tested positive for COVID-19 in less than a week, the White House Correspondents’ Association said on Wednesday. The latest case was diagnosed after the person was on White House grounds and tested negative on Monday and Tuesday, association president Zeke Miller wrote in an email to members. On Sunday,...
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nypost.com
Watch 'Black Panther,' 'Wonder Woman' and 'Space Jam' for free at a Walmart drive-in
The drive-in screening series in Walmart parking lots will include "Black Panther," "Wonder Woman," "Ghostbusters" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
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latimes.com
Cuomo and his Health Dept. at odds over total New York COVID-19 deaths
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his own Health Department are at odds over how many New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus. The governor on Wednesday reported 25,179 COVID-related fatalities in New York State. But the state Health Department issued an emergency rule on Wednesday that said more than 32,000 New Yorkers died from the killer...
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nypost.com
Student sues Yale for lacking ‘on-campus life’ amid remote learning
Arguing that he shouldn't have to pay in full for an online education, Jonathan Michel, of Ohio, filed the case in New Haven federal court on July 29.
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nypost.com
Ted Cruz condemns Oprah comments on White privilege: 'Utter, racist BS'
Winfrey said "no matter where" White people are on "the ladder of success, they still have their whiteness."
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foxnews.com
Beirut Was Already Suffering. Then Came a Deadly Explosion
The electricity was out at Fatima Al Mahmoud’s Beirut home even before a colossal explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital late on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 135 people, and wounding a further 5,000. A senior editor at online city guide Beirut.com, the 22-year old had been working remotely due to COVID lockdowns when a…
time.com
Single man who always wanted kids adopts teenager in foster care
As a single man, Peter Mutabazi, didn't know if he could become a foster parent. When he found out he was eligible, he signed up right away. He always wanted to have a child, and he ended up adopting a teen out of foster care who needed a forever home.
cbsnews.com
Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger talks comeback season: 'I just want to win Lombardis'
Roethlisberger has been slowly grinding away during the offseason to prepare himself for the season ahead and despite some nerves, he’s ready to dominate. 
foxnews.com
Woman wearing anti-cop mask says she was kicked off flight because she’s black
A Florida activist wearing a face mask with a vulgar anti-cop slogan on it claims she was kicked off an American Airlines flight because of her race. “I think I got taken off the plane because I’m black,” Arlinda Johns told Local10.com. “My mask said ‘F–k 12’ and my shirt said, ‘Black Lives Matter.’” Johns...
nypost.com
Everything at the grocery store is getting more expensive
Grocery prices have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. That has Americans spending more at the supermarket than they have in years.
edition.cnn.com
Florida tops 500,000 coronavirus cases: health officials
Florida reported more than half a million coronavirus cases after adding 5,409 new cases Wednesday to its tally, according to state health officials.
foxnews.com
Health care worker says coronavirus PPE shortage forced her to staple N95 mask together: 'It cut my face'
When Texas respiratory therapist Julie Sullivan, 46, left her home state to help out embattled NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn this spring, she was told to make her N95 mask last for seven days.
foxnews.com
Firearms seized in FBI raid at YouTube star Jake Paul’s home
Federal agents recovered a cache of firearms from controversial YouTube star Jake Paul’s Los Angeles mansion following a raid there Wednesday, according to a report. Authorities were seen seizing several firearms, including a long gun propped up against a hot tub in the backyard, from 23-year-old Paul’s property early Wednesday in Calabasas, news station KABC-TV...
nypost.com
A tearful Zoë Saldaña apologizes for playing Nina Simone in 2016 biopic
Zoë Saldaña tearfully apologized for taking — and defiantly sticking with — the role of Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic "Nina."
latimes.com
Paris Jackson and singer Gabriel Glenn break up
Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn have hit splitsville.
nypost.com
Science proves that microwaves suck at almost everything
Microwaves are one of those modern conveniences that everyone uses but that nobody is particularly fond of. I mean let’s be real here, you know that heating stuff up on your stove is the better way to do it, but the microwave is just so much faster, so you sacrifice quality in the name of...
nypost.com
Pelosi blasts Trump for saying he may deliver convention speech from White House: 'He can't do that'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed President Trump for suggesting that he would deliver his convention acceptance speech from the White House South Lawn, calling the proposed move "very wrong."
foxnews.com
Republicans operatives are helping Kanye West get on general election ballots
Republican operatives, some with ties to President Donald Trump, are actively helping Kanye West get on presidential general election ballots in states ranging from Vermont to Arkansas to Wisconsin.
edition.cnn.com
Travis Kelce confirms breakup with girlfriend Kayla Nicole
The Kansas City Chiefs tight end is a free agent.
nypost.com
Keilar debunks Trump campaign official's mail-in voting claim
CNN's Brianna Keilar fact checks Trump 2020 campaign official Mercedes Schlapp's claim that a Nevada law allows people to send in their votes after the polls close.
edition.cnn.com
Family of man killed in Queens one-punch death files lawsuit
The family of a Florida tourist who died from a single punch delivered by ex-Wake Forest basketball coach Jamill Jones has filed a wrongful death lawsuit following Jones’ no-jail sentence. The 37-year-old former coach — who faced up to a year in jail for his third-degree assault conviction from February — was sentenced last month...
nypost.com
U.S. sees 24% jump in COVID deaths in past week
There have been over 1,000 deaths per day​ most days since July 21.
cbsnews.com
New York City sets checkpoints for visitors from state with high COVID-19 rates
Starting Aug. 6, New York City will set up checkpoints at key entryways to ensure visitors from states with high COVID-19 infection rates quarantine.       
usatoday.com
Grandmother plays ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in home rocked by Beirut explosion
A moving video captures a grandmother in Lebanon calmly playing “Auld Lang Syne” on the piano in her debris-strewn home in the wake of the massive blast that shook Beirut on Tuesday. “This woman playing the piano in the midst of the rubble in Lebanon reminded me of the scene in Titanic when the band...
nypost.com
Virginia Becomes First State to Roll Out Smartphone App to Alert People to Potential Coronavirus Exposure
Virginia is the first U.S. state to use new pandemic technology created by Apple and Google
time.com
The explosion created a 405-foot crater
edition.cnn.com
Potential COVID-19 vaccine would protect obese adults less
Scientists suspect that a potential COVID-19 vaccine would be less effective for overweight adults.
foxnews.com
Cortes: Tough interviews show Trump's strength
Trump 2020 campaign senior adviser Steve Cortes says Trump is taking on the best sparring partners possible before he gets in the debate ring with Biden.
edition.cnn.com
California lawmakers ask Newsom to act immediately on unemployment claims
A majority of the California Legislature calls on Newsom to immediately begin paying unemployment benefits to more than 1 million jobless workers.
latimes.com
Kanye West drops effort to be on New Jersey presidential ballot
“Screams from the haters” kept Kanye West from getting on the presidential ballot in New Jersey. West has withdrawn his petition to appear as an independent presidential candidate on the state’s ballot, according to an email chain between a judge and someone representing the billionaire rapper using a campaign email address. In the email, the...
nypost.com
Brian Austin Green trolls Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly
Fans commented on his post, calling the slight "savage" and the "best clap back."
nypost.com
De Blasio appears to blames NYC's crime surge on lack of federal stimulus money
"Look, we need help," he said.
foxnews.com
Appeals court tells parties in Flynn case to be ready for questions on judicial impartiality
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a brief order Wednesday on the dispute over the Justice Department's move to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, told parties to be ready to answer questions about the effect of federal statutes on judicial impartiality on the case -- apparently indicating the court intends to discuss the impartiality of District Judge Emmet Sullivan.
foxnews.com
Diddy’s son King injured in Tesla vs. Ferrari collision in Beverly HiIls
Rapper Sean “Diddy” Comb’s son was injured early Wednesday after a Tesla collided with his red Ferrari a little after midnight in Beverly Hills, according to media reports. The Tesla, barreling down Sunset Blvd., lost control and smashed into the left side of King Comb’s rear bumper, ripping off part of it, and causing the...
nypost.com
Opinion: Heat sizzling in NBA restart, will make playoff path for teams in East difficult
They were always going to be a dangerous but unpredictable playoff team, even before COVID-19 forced the suspension of the season.        
usatoday.com
This is the chemical behind the Beirut explosion
An ex-British Army explosive expert says the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, shows the tell-tale signs of an ammonium nitrate explosion. CNN's Sam Kiley reports.
edition.cnn.com
Former US attorney doesn't buy Sally Yates' claim that James Comey went rogue on Flynn probe
Former U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis told "Outnumbered Overtime" he doesn't buy testimony from former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
foxnews.com
Chicago rapper shot in celeb-frequented area was likely killed by rival gang member: Lightfoot
Investigators believed it was a planned attack.
foxnews.com
Defense Secretary Esper says Beirut blast likely an accident, breaking with Trump
An accident was the likely cause of the explosion in Beirut, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday, contradicting the statement made by President Trump on Tuesday that the blast that killed at least 135 people, wounded 5,000 and leveled a large portion of the city was caused by an attack.       
usatoday.com
New York City public school teacher asks: If 'teachers are so essential, then why aren’t teachers paid more?'
“There is a contradiction between budget cuts and reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic," New York City public school teacher Karla Reyes told "America's Newsroom" Wednesday.
foxnews.com
New York coronavirus policy is harming disabled youth, parents say
Christopher Heisel of Long Island, N.Y., was once able to take 30 steps with help from his gait trainer. The child, who suffers from cerebral palsy, could sit up on his own and feed himself. Due to the closure of in-person therapies amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, Christopher, 10, can no longer bear any weight...
nypost.com
Jared Goff on quarantine weight gain: Cheeseburgers or muscle
Jared Goff is opening up about his quarantine transformation. During a conference call this week, the 25-year-old quarterback — entering his fifth season with the Los Angeles Rams — quipped about his lifestyle during the pandemic, noting his weight gain could be attributed to two different factors. “I may have put on a couple of...
nypost.com
A Lifelong Republican Teacher Turns on Trump
“When the virus hit and people were actually dying and Trump was doing nothing, I thought, ‘I cannot stay in this party anymore.’ ”
slate.com
Chelsea Handler poses nude, covers breasts with ping pong paddles: ‘Do you guys like to have fun?’
Chelsea Handler posed nude on top of an outdoor ping pong table in order to promote different books.
foxnews.com
Oprah sends 500 CEOs and leaders copies of 'Caste,' which compares America's racial hierarchy to India and Nazi Germany
The title, which compares racism in America to India and Nazi Germany, is the latest Oprah's Book Club pick.
edition.cnn.com
Minneapolis mayor wants mentors for new officers
In an interview with The Associated Press as part of its AP Newsmakers series, Frey says the city wants to make sure that the training new officers get isn't undermined once they go into the field. (Aug. 5)       
usatoday.com
Police dog finds missing mom and baby on first day
Max's human handler said the dog was "invaluable" in finding the mom and 1-year-old, who were missing for two days.
cbsnews.com
Mortality, mass psychosis, and how we live today
Kate Lyn Sheil in She Dies Tomorrow. | Courtesy of Neon Two new films — She Dies Tomorrow and Strasbourg 1518 — cut through our fantasies about life and loneliness. The question has the ring of one posed by a street-corner preacher: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend today? Answers, presumably, will vary. You might visit your family, or break off a relationship, or go careening down the highway at top speed on your motorcycle. You might get incredibly drunk, or go to church, or hug your child. It’s just a thought experiment, but it’s a revealing one. Wait, back up — is it a thought experiment? None of us know for sure that we’ll die tomorrow, but we also don’t know that we won’t. Calamity waits around every corner. Freak accidents and aneurysms occur. The scariest obituaries are those memorializing people who didn’t know death was imminent, but it came for them anyhow. Many of us live our lives sustained by a wholly unsupportable illusion we rarely confront: Death is out in the distance somewhere, not nearby. But that fantasy is upended if you receive a terminal diagnosis, or if you live with severe chronic illness. It dissipates as you get older. It pauses, curiously, when someone close to you dies — at least for a time — but tends to return if and when you manage to bat away the looming specter of your own end. And, of course, it changes dramatically when an invisible virus threatens the normal balance of life and the world turns upside down. Courtesy of Neon Kate Lyn Sheil in She Dies Tomorrow. We shine lights of distraction to keep the shadows of our own mortality at bay, but some events cast a broader pall. Amy Seimetz’s new movie She Dies Tomorrow imagines the premonition of death as not only something we occasionally experience but also a virus of its own, spreading from person to person, similar to an infection or a mania. But it’s the kind of mania that appears, under some lights, like sanity. Kate Lyn Sheil plays Amy, a recovering alcoholic who becomes convinced her death will happen the next day. She’s not suicidal; she just knows her death is coming. Devastated and alone in the house she just bought, she cracks open a bottle of wine, browses cremation urns online, and listens to Mozart’s Requiem on repeat. We don’t really know, at first, why she’s slipped into this state — and even when we eventually find out, the explanation just adds more mystery. When Amy tells her friend Jane (played by Jane Adams) about her impending demise, Jane initially worries for her. But all of a sudden, she becomes certain that she, too, will die tomorrow. And then Jane attends her sister-in-law’s birthday party, with her new foreboding hanging around her almost visibly, and it’s highly contagious. She Dies Tomorrow is designed to infect you, too, at least a little — colored lights, unidentifiable soundscapes, a heavy pace, and the never-ending strains of the Requiem (traditionally a mass for the dead) cast a spell of existential dread. It’s catching. Humanity is “the only creature that pretends to be what it’s not,” Jane reminds the birthday party guests. And She Dies Tomorrow challenges both what we pretend to be and what we really are by forcing us to remember that we’re real, living in bodies that won’t last forever. I happened to see She Dies Tomorrow on the same day I watched Strasbourg 1518, a 10-minute film directed by Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin) that was shot entirely in isolation during this spring’s coronavirus quarantine and then distributed online. Dancers across Europe gyrate and spin alone in empty rooms to an intoxicating new composition by musician Mica Levi. A voice intones throughout: “How are you, from 10 to one? Ten to two?” and “Every morning, when I wake up, for 10 seconds I am free.” It’s a bit of performance art that captures the frustrations of being a physical body trapped by a pandemic, but in the way only artists of the 21st century could pull off. Courtesy of A24 An image from Strasbourg 1518. Strasbourg 1518 was so haunting that I felt compelled to rewatch it immediately, and then I had to look up the title. The results made it more disturbing and magnetic. In 1518, a mysterious “dancing plague” — that is, an epidemic of dancing — broke out in Germany. The details vary from account to account, but essentially, one woman began dancing alone in a Strasbourg street in July. Within a week, more had joined her. For the participants, the urge to dance was uncontrollable and contagious. Local doctors said the culprit was “hot blood,” and prescribed more dancing as the cure. By August, according to some reports, more than 400 people were dancing frantically and uncontrollably in the streets of Strasbourg, some of them collapsing and even dying. The dancing didn’t end until September, when, depending on who you read, either priests or doctors intervened. The Strasbourg incident wasn’t the only European “dancing mania” of the Middle Ages, though it was apparently the biggest. Technically nobody knows why the manias happened, with some experts speculating that the urge to dance could have been caused by ingesting molds or being bitten by a scorpion. But the most common suggestion — and probably the most unnerving one, by today’s standards — is that there was no reason at all, that dancing fevers are simply one type of mass psychogenic illness (MPI). Sometimes called “mass hysteria,” MPIs occur when symptoms of some kind of illness spread among a cohesive group of people as though they’re contagions, but with no underlying virus or bacteria causing it. Researchers have found that the symptoms tend to spread through visual contact, seem to be exacerbated by media coverage, and appear very real to the people who experience them. There are a whole bunch of tricky ethical and historical concerns inherent in how we think about MPIs, not least of which is the long history of women and other marginalized groups being kept in their place by those who, for one reason or another, deem them psychotic. But the kernel of the idea, even interpreted outside the medical framework, has proven to be an intoxicating one for filmmakers. Take, for instance, Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits, in which teen girls in a dance troupe start to fall to the ground in shivers and convulsions. There’s no explanation, and our main character Toni (Royalty Hightower), desperate to fit in with the group, starts to experience symptoms as well. For Toni, the fits become her hungry, isolated soul’s unconscious way to feel as if she’s part of something. She Dies Tomorrow, though it was not made for a world in the state ours is in, evokes isolation in its exploration of mortality. And the movie doesn’t provide any definitive answer on whether its characters, in coming to believe they only have one day left, are contracting a psychosis or, perhaps, finally coming to their senses. It clings mostly to the effects of feeling alone while facing existence: Living with loneliness is dark, and difficult, and more life-sapping than thinking you’re going to die. Each character spins out of control not just because they’re convinced they’re going to die tomorrow, but because they feel as if they’re facing that knowledge by themselves. Each realizes anew how much they’ve messed up their own relationships. They’ve severed or strained ties between themselves and others, and now they are definitely not okay. Neon Tunde Adebimpe in She Dies Tomorrow. Strasbourg 1518, in contrast, is a direct product of our moment of isolation and depicts it elliptically. Dancers both caught in and stranded by a plague, alone in their homes, all dance, hearing the same beat and the same voice asking the same questions. How are you, from ten to one? Ten to two? These questions we ask one another in little boxes on our screens or on the phone, and answer with more or less honesty. Every morning, when I wake up, for 10 seconds I am free. The art grasps, harnesses, and redirects the controlled explosion of feeling trapped, the emotional swings that seem irrational but are probably the most rational response of all to a totally enraging situation. The dancers throw themselves against their walls, whip their hair around, things I have wanted to do most every day when I remember I am not, in fact, free. I confess that living through this moment has sometimes felt as if I’m trying to decide which mass psychosis to engage in, or, alternately, trying to figure out if I’m just coming to my senses. People tweeted early on about wondering if they were feeling the symptoms of infection or just anxiety — if that cough or chest tightness was “real” or just an effect of allergies, or the news. All these months later, I’m less worried about tangible symptoms and more about intangible tricks my mind plays on me. Is it foolish to think I am somehow completely protected when I go outside, taking proper precautions, wiping things down, because I “feel safe”? What if I lose patience and choose to live as if nothing is wrong? What if I decide that to protect myself and others would make me weak — isn’t that a delusion? Will seeing other people living one way or another cause me to think I ought to, as well? I lived through April 2020 in New York and listened to all-night, all-day sirens; I know what’s real; I believe in facts; I cover my face and wash my hands and stay out of restaurants. But if anything, those sirens made me — and my neighbors, and people I tweet with all day long — more aware of our mortality. I’m more aware now than I was eight months ago that I, or anyone I love, could die tomorrow. A24 A scene from Strasbourg 1518. That awareness is good. I belong to a religious tradition that, like many others, has yearly rituals designed to remind us that we are made of dust, the same stuff as the rest of the universe. But those reminders have a dark side; I have to balance the doom with living, to look away from the feverish panic and maybe go sit under a tree that’s been there since long before I was born and will probably outlast me by a century. Properly respecting the virus that would like to kill me — no, not even like, a virus has no motivation, replication is just its ontological purpose — without tipping into fantasy is hard. I want to believe I can cheat death with soap and cloth. Or that if I can only feel the same level of sleep-sapping panic as people on my Twitter feed, I might by force of will be able to propel myself out of this timeline. Only one of those actions has any effect on the situation. But nothing you or I do can erase reality. So in the face of our own mortality, we keep dancing in our rooms alone. We try to beat loneliness however we can. We remind each other what matters, who matters. We make things to share our exhaustion and frustration and exhilaration with one another. In the midst of what can feel like solitary madness, we might, if we’re lucky, find the wisdom we usually ignore. She Dies Tomorrow opened on July 31 in select drive-in theaters and will premiere on digital platforms such as Apple TV and Google Play beginning August 7. In the US, Strasbourg 1518 is streaming on its website. The Fits is streaming on the Criterion Channel. 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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