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UK lawmakers can determine type of Brexit by amending law: minister

Lawmakers will be able to determine the shape of Britain's exit from the European Union by amending the government's Brexit legislation in parliament, trade minister Liam Fox will say on Tuesday.
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Wisconsin man charged after allegedly shooting kids who threw snowballs at his car
A Wisconsin man was arrested for allegedly shooting three kids after they threw several snowballs at his car last month, a report said Tuesday. William Carson, 24, is accused of opening fire at a group of seven children who were chucking snowballs at passing vehicles in Milwaukee on Jan. 4,  FOX 6 News reported, citing...
nypost.com
A stuntwoman threatened her ex-husband and his wife in their driveway. He shot and killed her and her husband, police say
Stuntwoman Cheryl D. Sanders and her husband were shot dead after they allegedly threatened her ex-husband and his wife in their driveway, police say.
edition.cnn.com
Brit Awards 2020: Best red carpet fashion
Last night, the Brit Awards -- the UK music industry's biggest night -- took over London's O2 arena to celebrate some of the world's most famous artists and emerging acts. It was an evening that saw lots of great black British talent, a few politically charged speeches and, disappointingly (but by now in no way surprising), too few women recognized for their work.
edition.cnn.com
Mexican national held in Florida, accused of spying on US for Russia
A Mexican citizen has been arrested in Florida for allegedly working as a Russian agent to get information on the U.S. government, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
foxnews.com
DOJ denies reports that AG William Barr plans to resign over Trump tweets
Attorney General William Barr does not intend to step down from his post — despite reports that he has considered quitting over his frustration with President Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases, the department said Tuesday. Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said on Twitter that her boss had no plans to quit, calling reports...
nypost.com
Rod Blagojevich thanks Trump: I'm a Trump-ocrat
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojovich, a Democrat who has served eight years of a 14-year prison sentence for a host of public corruption charges, including trying to solicit money for an appointment to former President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat, thanks President Donald Trump after Trump commuted his prison sentence.
edition.cnn.com
Bong happy ‘Parasite’ succeeded despite disparity it showed
“Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho says the biggest pleasure the film brought to him is its success despite his explicit portrayal of wealth disparity in modern society
washingtonpost.com
US judge rejects Huawei lawsuit challenging a ban on its products
A US judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by Chinese tech company Huawei challenging the constitutionality of a law that banned federal agencies from buying its products.
edition.cnn.com
Brit Awards 2020: Best of red carpet fashion
Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles were among the best-dressed stars at the annual British music awards ceremony.
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Aaron Judge: Astros should be stripped of 2017 title, players punished by commissioner
Anger surrounding the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal hasn’t abated. New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is the latest player to criticize the 2017 World Series winners, saying Houston should be stripped of its the title and the offending players should be punished, according to reports.
foxnews.com
Xi Jinping says battle against coronavirus making "visible progress" as death toll passes 2,000
The death toll from Covid-19 has surpassed 2,000 but Chinese authorities say they are making "visible progress" in fighting the outbreak. Meanwhile, passengers begin to leave the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
edition.cnn.com
How an Iron-Ore Billionaire Escapes ESG Scrutiny
Fortescue founder Andrew Forrest can do more to reduce carbon emissions. The go-to excuses are getting weaker as technology improves.
washingtonpost.com
Basketball: City quarterfinal results and updated schedule
Basketball: City quarterfinal results and updated schedule
latimes.com
Ryan Newman ‘awake and speaking’ after horrific wreck during Daytona 500
Updates have been scarce on the condition of the veteran driver, whose car went airborne at the end of the Daytona 500.
washingtonpost.com
The Perils of Allying With the Far Right
The far right in Germany may be confined to the opposition benches, but they are proving just how disruptive they can be.Earlier this month, in the country’s eastern state of Thuringia, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) joined Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling center-right Christian Democrats and the pro-business Free Democrats to elect the latter party’s candidate for state governor. That a regional leader was elected with far-right support prompted a national uproar. Within days, Merkel condemned the result as “unforgivable,” the winning candidate stepped down, and the Christian Democrats’ leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer—thought to be Merkel’s anointed successor when the chancellor steps aside next year—resigned.This saga demonstrated just how much of a disruptive force the far right in Germany has become, but the lessons from the episode ought to be heeded by mainstream parties elsewhere in Europe too. As politics becomes more fragmented, and as established parties lose votes to emerging smaller ones, mainstream groupings can no longer count on ruling alongside like-minded allies, let alone by themselves. They must begin to form broad coalitions with opposition parties elsewhere on the political spectrum to avoid being forced into alliances with the far right.Although far-right parties have surged across Europe, the response to their gains has varied widely. In several countries, including France, Denmark, and Sweden, mainstream center-right and center-left parties attempted to curb the far right’s ascent by adopting some of their language and policies—particularly on potent issues such as immigration—with the hope of attracting voters back from the fringes. In others, the mantra of “if you can’t beat them, join them” won out, resulting in the emergence of far-right parties in coalition governments in countries including Austria and Italy. (Though it’s worth noting that few of these coalitions have survived full terms.)In Germany, however, the tactic has always been a simple one: complete exclusion. The reason for this is primarily historical. As a country deeply conscious of its Nazi past, the mere thought of allowing a far-right party like the AfD into government “would be a historical minefield,” Sudha David-Wilp, the deputy director of the German Marshall Fund in Berlin, told me. This is the reason that the country’s mainstream parties have mostly ruled out working with the AfD, and it also helps explain why the events in Thuringia reverberated in the way that they did. Though the candidate for governor wasn’t himself a member of the AfD, fears abound that the emergence of the far right as kingmakers, even at the local level, could put the party on a path to national dominance. After all, it was in Thuringia that the first Nazi politicians assumed office in the waning days of the Weimar Republic—then, too, with the support of conservative parties—before ultimately advancing to the national stage.Not all of these strategies have been effective, though. Across Europe, mainstream parties’ tactic of imitating their far-right counterparts in a bid to undermine them hasn’t been proved to work: Not only do these parties fail to attract enough far-right voters (as France’s former far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen put it, “Voters always prefer the original to the copy”), but they also risk alienating their more traditional supporters in the process.“There is no evidence that shifting to the right diminishes the electoral support for the radical right,” Werner Krause, a research fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, told me. By copying their positions, he added, mainstream parties risk “legitimizing and normalizing” them instead.Nor is there evidence to suggest that far-right parties, once in power, necessarily lose support (the theory being that inviting them into government would dull their extremism, or otherwise reveal that extremism to the wider public). In Italy, for example, Matteo Salvini’s League maintained its strength while in government, momentum it has kept since being booted from the governing coalition last year. Even in Austria, although the scandal-ridden Freedom Party has fallen in the polls, its core base of supporters remains intact.In maintaining its cordon sanitaireagainst the far right, Germany has sought to avoid either scenario. But this hasn’t proved easy. Across Europe, political dealignment has made the formation of viable governing coalitions incredibly challenging—a lesson Germany knows all too well. Following the country’s last general election in 2017, it took four months for the Christian Democrats to begrudgingly resume their “grand coalition” with the center-left Social Democrats after talks with other smaller parties broke down. As far-right parties continue to gain electorally, shutting them out will prove all the more difficult. And once that cordon sanitaire has been broken, it’s nearly impossible to rebuild. (One could make the case that the damage has already been done: Though the AfD didn’t succeed in getting one of its own candidates into office in Thuringia, the party can point to the events there as proof of its outsize role in influencing the outcome.)The only meaningful way that mainstream parties can continue to exclude the far right from government is to accept two new realities: First, they must abandon the hopes of governing exclusively in like-minded coalitions. For Germany’s mainstream parties, this means accepting that “there is no power option … for a right-of-center government,” Krause said. “This option, at least if we exclude the AfD, does not exist in the future.”Second, and relatedly, they must be open to the formation of broader partnerships—even with parties they may not necessarily see as traditional allies. For center-right parties, in particular, this means looking further afield to groups on the left such as the Greens, which have enjoyed their own surge in popularity across the continent in recent years. After all, as climate change becomes a greater priority to voters, the shift won’t necessarily be a difficult one for mainstream parties to make. This creative approach is already being put to the test: In Austria, the ruling People’s Party (which was previously allied with the far-right Freedom Party) is now in coalition with the Greens. It was an arrangement that required compromise on both sides: carbon neutrality commitments to satisfy the Greens, and stricter controls on migration to placate the center-right.The challenges of excluding the far right are only likely to get harder. Indeed, a recent poll found that nearly half of Germans expect the AfD to be in national government within the next decade. Absent a change in strategy by mainstream parties, they may find themselves proved right.
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theatlantic.com
What to watch on Wednesday: ‘The Chef Show’ returns on Netflix
Wednesday, Feb. 19 | The next Democratic presidential debate airs on NBC and MSNBC.
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washingtonpost.com
Xi says battle against virus making 'visible progress'
The death toll from the novel coronavirus passed 2,000 on Wednesday, marking a grim milestone in the battle to contain the deadly outbreak, as countries across Asia registered an uptick in confirmed cases.
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edition.cnn.com
Mexican national charged with acting as Russian agent in the US, DOJ says
A Mexican national has been arrested and charged with acting as a Russian agent within the United States, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
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edition.cnn.com
Source: Barr thought about resigning over Trump's interference
Attorney General William Barr has told people he's considered resigning over President Donald Trump's interference with Justice Department matters, particularly the President's tweets, according to a source close to the situation.
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edition.cnn.com
Santa Ana Mater Dei gets 43 points from Devin Askew to defeat Rancho Christian
No. 7-seeded Monarchs are 2-0 in pool play in Southern Section Open Division playoffs
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latimes.com
MLBPA: We fully cooperated with league on Astros’ probe
The Major League Baseball Players Association said in a statement late Tuesday that they fully cooperated with the league regarding the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing investigation after commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB and the union had reached an agreement for player immunity to avoid a stalemate. “Any suggestion that the Association failed to cooperate with the...
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nypost.com
Donald Trump and his pardon triangle
President Donald Trump on Tuesday picked a handful of corrupt former officials and corrupt wealthy influence peddlers and granted them clemency, just days after his administration's latest controversy: accusations that he was tipping the scales of justice in favor of his friend Roger Stone (which he keeps saying he has every right to do, but denies doing).
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edition.cnn.com
Trump's pardon spree deepens crisis gripping American justice
President Donald Trump just appointed himself America's judge and jury, casting even deeper doubts on whether the nation's impartial justice system can withstand his expanding political assault.
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edition.cnn.com
Sanders Campaign to Request Recount After Iowa Recanvassing Shrinks Buttigieg's Lead
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign indicated Tuesday they will request a full recount of some Iowa precincts after recanvassing results show former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's lead has diminished.
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newsweek.com
'Master virus hunter' voices concerns about coronavirus
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, known as a "master virus hunter" speaks to CNN's Anderson Cooper under quarantine after his trip to China. He said there's still a lot to be learned on the virus. Watch "Full Circle" every weeknight at 5pm E.T.
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edition.cnn.com
Trump frees Ex-Gov. Blagojevich from prison
Rod Blagojevich walked out of prison in Colorado on Tuesday after President Donald Trump cut short the 14-year prison sentence handed to the former Illinois governor for political corruption. (Feb. 19)       
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usatoday.com
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia stocks rise on lull in virus worry, euro still weak
Asian shares and U.S. stock futures rose on Wednesday, as investors tried to shake off worries about the coronavirus epidemic after a slight decline in the number of new cases.
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reuters.com
'Parasite' filming locations you can visit in Seoul
With South Korean director Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" becoming the first ever non-English film to snag the Best Picture award at the 2020 Oscars, interest in the Seoul locations it features has skyrocketed.
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edition.cnn.com
Syracuse University students renew protests following administration's response to racist incidents
Students at New York's Syracuse University are occupying a school building again, citing the administration's handling of previous and recent racist incidents on campus. #NotAgainSU, a black student-led movement at Syracuse University, launched a sit-in Monday afternoon in the school's admissions building Crouse-Hinds Hall.
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edition.cnn.com
Laura Ingraham: Virginia's Second Amendment advocates score a win over Democrats Northam, Bloomberg
Gun-rights activists scored a Second Amendment victory in Virginia this week over the state's Democrat governor and legislature and gun-control financier -- and Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, Laura Ingraham reported Tuesday.
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foxnews.com
Jack Leiter, son of ex-MLB All-Star Al Leiter, tosses 5 no-hit innings in Vanderbilt debut
Jack Leiter, son of former MLB All-Star Al Leiter, had one of the best debuts in Vanderbilt history as he tossed five no-hit innings, striking out 12.       
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usatoday.com
Quiz: What makes a voter and a nonvoter?
See if you know what motivates someone to vote or to abstain.
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politico.com
Klobuchar shares story of her 'saddest day in Washington'
During a CNN town hall in Nevada, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) addressed the need for gun reform and spoke about her "saddest day in Washington."
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edition.cnn.com
Leon spoils Carlos Vela's return to Mexico as LAFC falls in CONCACAF Champions League match
LAFC and Leon will meet in the return leg of the two-game playoff Feb. 27 at Banc of California Stadium. The winner, determined on aggregate goals, will advance to next month's tournament quarterfinals.
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latimes.com
Barr Told Trump Allies He May Quit If President Continues to Tweet About DOJ Criminal Investigations: Report
Attorney General William Barr is reportedly considering quitting his position over President Donald Trump's social media posts.
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newsweek.com
Woman who posed as baby photographer charged with assault and attempted kidnapping after drugging a mother and planning to steal her child, prosecutors say
Juliette Leilani Parker was charged with second degree assault and attempted kidnapping.
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edition.cnn.com
Decoding the Wild Card of the 2020 Election
The largest study of the politically disengaged in U.S. history reveals a surprisingly diverse group of citizens and offers hints about how to reach them.
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politico.com
Women predominate among the most disengaged nonvoters
While the numbers of women political activists continue to soar, there’s another group of women that’s less informed and less convinced that voting matters than their male counterparts.
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politico.com
Could Higher Turnout Actually Help Trump?
A new study challenges the idea that suppressing the vote hurts Democrats.
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politico.com
Voter suppression issues rank low among reasons nonvoters stay home
Lack of excitement, knowledge about candidates score much higher than difficulty registering or getting to the polls in a sweeping new study.
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politico.com
Taxes 2020: What you don't know about your tax bracket could hurt you
Tax brackets can hurt taxpayers if they don't understand how they work. The IRS typically issues new tax brackets annually that affect your earnings.      
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usatoday.com
AAA names new 2020 Five Diamond hotels, restaurants
See the new hotels and restaurants to make the AAA 2020 Five Diamond list.        
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usatoday.com
Coronavirus Is Devastating Chinese Tourism
YANGON—Last month, on January 19, Myanmar’s state-run newspaper left no question as to what was the biggest story of the day. The paper carried page after page of dry reports documenting the movements and meetings of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping. Inside were photos of Xi and Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sitting in gilded chairs behind a table draped in red, yellow, and green fabric, the colors of Myanmar’s flag. A parade of officials had taken turns posing in front of them, clutching red folios that each contained one of the dozens of freshly signed agreements between the two countries. The visit marked the start of the “Myanmar-China Bilateral Cultural and Tourism Year.”Buried inside the same edition of the paper was a single article, plucked from the AFP newswire, detailing alarm by medical experts in London over the spread of a “mysterious SARS-like virus in China” and warning that the scale of the outbreak was “likely far bigger than officially reported.” Of the two stories, this is the one proving to be more important to Myanmar, Southeast Asia, and the world.The illness, now officially labeled COVID-19, has raced across the globe, infecting tens of thousands of people and killing more than 2,000, predominantly in China. Countries have closed their borders to Chinese travelers; airlines have slashed flights and limited routes. Points of transit across Asia—train stations, bus depots, airports—have seen traffic plummet, and some are nearly deserted. Leaders in Beijing are undertaking a sprawling lockdown and quarantine on a scale that is difficult to comprehend. The impact on the global economy is still yet to be fully understood.[Read: Coronavirus is a data time bomb]Powered by a middle class expanding in both wealth and size, the Chinese tourism market has seen staggering growth over the past two decades. Travel departures from China, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, increased from 4.5 million in 2000 to 150 million in 2018. These travelers have become their own economic force, spending $277 billion, and many countries have rushed to embrace them. Yet if Western countries have experienced the growing number of Chinese tourists as simply a boon for the economy, around Asia the influx of visitors has been even more transformative. All of the top 10 destinations for Chinese visitors last year were in Asia, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, and the results are evident to any traveler in the region: signs at travel hubs that include directions in Chinese, tourism staff who speak at least a smattering of the language, shops that accept mobile payments from Chinese apps. (At the same time, stories of Chinese tourists behaving badly and complaints of “zero dollar” tourism, whereby locals see little money from inbound visitors, have also risen.)But now, as COVID-19 sharply curtails travel across the region, analysts and governments of countries that have become heavily reliant on Chinese visitors—some overly so—are dampening their forecasts. More than 40,000 hotel bookings on the Indonesian island of Bali have been canceled, according to officials there, and the outbreak could shave up to 0.3 percentage points off the country’s GDP growth. Billions of dollars in tourism spending are projected to be lost by Vietnam. Tourists from China are the largest group of visitors to Thailand, but the government expects the annual number of Chinese travelers to fall by at least 2 million. A hotel manager in the Thai city of Chiang Mai told me the situation was a “total mess,” as travel agents and hotels scrambled to reschedule and collect payments from canceled tour groups. Immigration figures for the city’s airport show an near total collapse in the number of arrivals from China starting in late January. Casinos in Macau, the world’s gambling capital, normally teeming with players from the mainland, are shuttered. Lisa Wan, a professor at City University of Hong Kong’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, was blunt in her assessment: “The global tourism industry is expected to suffer massively during the outbreak,” she told me.Few places illustrate this economic relationship with China—capitalizing on an incredible growth in tourism and trade, thereby building a dependence that creates a vulnerability—like Myanmar. The country’s tourism sector has rapidly expanded since the government undertook political and economic reforms in 2011, but in 2018, arrivals from the United States and Europe dropped 50 percent in part because of a military campaign carried out near Myanmar’s western border. Looking to rebound, the government aggressively courted the Asian market, rolling out visa exemptions and new flight connections to numerous Chinese cities, including Chongqing, Haikou, and Wuhan, the center of the latest virus outbreak—the international airport in Mandalay now almost exclusively services China. Arrivals from there rose from 20 percent of the overall figure in 2018 to 38 percent in 2019, according to the World Bank. May Myat Mon Win, a vice chair of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, told me tour organizers from China had in recent years taken to booking all the rooms in some budget hotels for every night of the year, sometimes for two years at a time—unlike tourists from elsewhere, Chinese visitors traveled year-round.Thant Zin Tun, a hotel owner with properties across Myanmar managed by international brands, began to cater to the new guests, hiring Chinese speakers and expanding menu options. The first offerings of the day needed adapting, for example, because Chinese tourists “don’t really fancy the European, Western breakfast,” he said he had learned. But since the COVID-19 outbreak, he said he had seen an 85 percent drop in business at his hotels in Mandalay and Bagan, an area covered with ancient temples, both places where Chinese tourists have flocked to in recent years.And at Yangon’s Bogyoke Market on a recent Saturday, tourists, particularly those from China, were largely missing. Saleswomen with no customers to entertain chatted among themselves and tapped on their phones behind glass cases displaying bracelets, pendants, and jade ornaments in shades varying from milky white to deep emerald. Sitting under one of the market’s covered walkways, Zin Min Tun, who has run half a dozen pearl and gem shops since 1996, estimated that the number of Chinese tourists over the previous month had dropped roughly 70 percent drop compared with last year. His fingers wrapped in thick ruby and agate rings, Zin Min Tun said Chinese tourists were the biggest buyers of jade, mined in Myanmar’s north, and the country’s pearls, which have a champagne-colored sheen. “The whole world depends on China,” he said. “Now they have money; they can spend around the world, not just Myanmar.”The concerns Thant Zin Tun and other spoke of were reflected by analysts at Fitch Solutions, who last week said they were lowering their forecast for Myanmar’s GDP growth, noting that tourism would be “subdued over the coming months due to lower Chinese visitors from China’s ban on travel agent bookings, and also risk aversion from tourists of other nationalities due to Myanmar’s weak patient tracking capability.” (Upon my flight’s arrival into Yangon airport, workers in hazmat suits armed with thermometers entered the plane and took our temperatures.)While Thant Zin Tun bemoaned the lost business, May Myat Mon Win, the tourism federation vice chair, was quick to remind me that Myanmar was hardly the only country feeling the downturn and that others were even more reliant on Chinese visitors. “China is a giant, the dragon,” she told me. “If the dragon is hit harder than this I think there is going to be more consequences for the global economy and of course tourism.”[Read: The new coronavirus is a truly modern epidemic]One such area is Macau, the former Portuguese colony, which welcomed nearly 28 million visitors from mainland China last year, about 70 percent of all arrivals. (Macau is now a special administrative region that is part of Chinabut, like Hong Kong, has a separate legal system, judiciary, and immigration regime.) Though Macau’s economy is almost wholly dependent on gaming, after a string of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the government forced all 41 casinos to halt operations for a 15-day period starting on February 5. Numerous hotels have temporarily shuttered as a result, and residents are largely abiding by the government’s recommendation to stay home. The gondolas used to ferry tourists through the artificial canals at the Venetian Hotel sat empty on the mouthwash-blue water, opera music echoing off the faux-Italian-building fronts. One security guard standing in front of a stopped escalator at the Parisian Hotel said that without any visitors, things had gotten “very boring.” A sales attendant in a luxury boutique busied himself by styling a mannequin, removing and replacing a pair of sunglasses and tweaking a bucket hat before settling on a final look, then starting again.The steps leading to the ruins of St. Paul’s, where throngs of tourists normally gather to snap selfies, were largely empty, the drop-off in visitors not helped by a late afternoon rain shower. Near the base of the steps, an automated message booming out from a loudspeaker reminded visitors that if caught early, the virus could be cured. A video board showed a guide to proper hand-washing. The cobbled street leading up to the steps, lined with colorful historic buildings whose ground floors house snack shops and pharmacies serving mainland visitors, was also almost completely vacant. A saleswoman keen for a customer stepped outside her shop, to tout not souvenirs, but a more in-demand item. “Masks here! Masks here!” she shouted as I walked past.Cape Diamond contributed reporting.
2 h
theatlantic.com
Miss Manners: My co-worker thinks I don’t like her
If she filed a complaint, superiors must be brought in
2 h
washingtonpost.com
Ask Amy: Abuse survivor is afraid to tell parents
Her therapist can ease the disclosure and its aftermath
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washingtonpost.com
Hints From Heloise: A surprise taco taste
Cucumber instead of lettuce adds extra crunch
2 h
washingtonpost.com
Jenna Dewan announces engagement to actor Steve Kazee: 'You have my heart'
Five months after announcing her pregnancy, Jenna Dewan revealed on Instagram that she's engaged to Tony award-winning actor Steve Kazee.        
2 h
usatoday.com
Carolyn Hax: A tightknit family — and a relationship snag
Coming from different traditions won’t doom your romance, unless you let it.
2 h
washingtonpost.com