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COVID-19

Riots at the Capitol could be a coronavirus superspreader event

Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters stormed into the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, many in that crowd attended a rally put on by the president and stood around outside the Capitol. Many videos and photos of the people at the Capitol have surfaced, often showing people without masks or face coverings and standing in close proximity to others who were also maskless. Some health experts think this riot could be a superspreader event for COVID-19.

Opinion: Fuck You, Ted Cruz

You un-American, anti-democracy, lying sack of shit

Liar or believer? I’ve asked that a lot these past four years, as Republican politicians and media figures spout falsehood after Trump-supporting falsehood. Do they really believe it? Or are they cynically going along with claims they know have no basis in reality — or are even the opposite of reality — because they don’t value truth, don’t respect their supporters, and see personal advantage in the lies?

Judge rules

Ghislaine Maxwell deposition should be unsealed quickly

Transcripts of interviews lawyers conducted with Ghislaine Maxwell involving her former boyfriend, the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, should be released as soon as possible, a New York judge ordered on Tuesday.

Vatican

Pope meets George Pell for first time since cardinal's abuse acquittal

Pope Francis has met George Pell in his first audience with the cardinal since Pell was cleared of child sexual abuse charges in Australia this year. Pell, a former Vatican economy minister, returned to Rome in late September, days after a top Italian cardinal with whom he had long-running differences was asked to resign amid embezzlement claims.

Ronaldo rape case

U.S. judge to hear arguments over hush-money agreement

Cristiano Ronaldo's legal fight against a woman who accuses the international soccer star of raping her in his suite at a Las Vegas resort more than 10 years ago is heading toward a trial before a federal judge in Nevada. No date was immediately set, but U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey said she will hear arguments and decide herself whether Kathryn Mayorga was mentally fit to enter a 2010 hush-money agreement with Ronaldo's representatives that paid Mayorga $375,000.

COVID-19: USA

How CDC takes the citizens for a ride

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control pulled new guidelines acknowledging the new coronavirus could be transmitted by tiny particles that linger in the air, saying a draft version of proposed changes was posted in error on the agency’s website. For months, the CDC said the new coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people in close contact through large droplets that land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. On Friday, however, it added that tiny particles known as aerosols could transmit the virus.

US young adults on the Holocaust

Nearly two-thirds unaware 6m Jews killed

Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century.

Pew Research Center

Donald Trump is the least trusted major world leader

The image of the US and Donald Trump around the world has plunged from poor to the abysmal over the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a global survey.

How Trumps incapacity is explained

Woodward tapes 'reveal strong leadership' on Covid

The revelation that Donald Trump deliberately downplayed the coronavirus pandemic forced key aides on to desperate defence on Sunday, barely 50 days from the presidential election.

Richard Vague

Proverbial hell:: The coming wave of defaults

With COVID-related income supplements and unemployment benefits now expired or reduced, we face a new wave of mortgage and rental delinquencies, many of which will come in the next few months.

California

Explosive wildfires stoked by fierce winds

Wildfires raged unchecked across parts of the western U.S. on Wednesday amid gusty and dry conditions, but forecasters said some weather relief was in sight that could help firefighters overwhelmed by the blazes.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Trump official preventing Fauci from discussing Covid children risk

A health official hired by a Donald Trump appointee has been working to prevent Dr Anthony Fauci from talking about dangers that Covid-19 poses to children, Politico reported on Wednesday.

Michael Cohen Book

Donald Trump: “Fuck Mandela. He was no leader”

The impression of Donald Trump’s obsession with his predecessor Barack Obama was fueled by a video from 2012 resurfacing this weekend from a parody in which the now-Republican president mocks his Democratic rival.

Black Live Matter

Michael Reinoeh, suspect in Portland slaying killed

A vocal proponent of the far-left antifa movement who was suspected of fatally shooting a supporter of a far-right group in Portland, Ore., this weekend was shot and killed in a confrontation with law enforcement Thursday, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Civil Rights

NSA surveillance exposed by Snowden was illegal

Seven years after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful – and that the US intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth.

Trump hearts Wisconsin

If he loses it, he could end up in jail

No one wanted the president to go to Kenosha. Not the governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers. Not the mayor of Kenosha, John Antaramin. And probably not a majority of Kenoshans. And so Donald Trump decided that the only thing that made sense was for him to go to Kenosha.

For Donald Trump these are terrorists

US imposes sanctions on top international criminal court officials

The US has imposed sanctions on the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, Fatou Bensouda, in the latest of a series of unilateral and radical foreign policy moves.

COVID-19

Task force reports show dire US-reality

As President Donald Trump was painting a positive picture of the coronavirus pandemic and urging states to reopen the nation's businesses and schools, data from the White House coronavirus task force released Monday shows he was getting increasingly dire reports about the spread of the pandemic in July and August.

Hurricane Laura

Donald Trump visits storm-lashed Louisiana and Texas

Donald Trump got a first-hand look on Saturday at hurricane damage to south-west Louisiana, two days after Hurricane Laura roared in off the Gulf of Mexico with winds up to 150mph, killing at least 15 people, knocking out power and causing extensive flooding and lack of running water across several towns.

Jacob Blake

NBA players decide to continue season

The NBA has apparently moved back from the brink after speculation had mounted that players would boycott the season over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Covid red alert

Nice: Tour de France in doubt

The 2020 Tour de France, scheduled to start in Nice on Saturday, is edging closer to collapse after the Alpes-Maritimes region, site of the opening stages of the race, was placed on red alert owing to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Environment

Hurricane Laura makes landfall as category 4 monster

Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana early Thursday as a strong Category 4 storm, bringing winds approaching 150 mph, rising water, extensive damage and power outages that affected hundreds of thousands.

Shortnews

mifepristone

Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night granted the Trump administration’s request to reinstate federal rules requiring people seeking medication abortions to obtain the pills in-person from a medical provider. The court’s 6-3 decision along ideological lines halted a lower court ruling that waived Food and Drug Administration rules to allow abortion pills to be distributed by mail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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mifepristone

Supreme Court reinstates restrictions on abortion pill

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night granted the Trump administration’s request to reinstate federal rules requiring people seeking medication abortions to obtain the pills in-person from a medical provider. The court’s 6-3 decision along ideological lines halted a lower court ruling that waived Food and Drug Administration rules to allow abortion pills to be distributed by mail during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ruling was the court’s first major action on abortion since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the seat left vacant by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a brief opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts asserted that the case wasn’t about abortion, but rather whether courts could substitute judgment of federal officials at the FDA.

The court’s three liberal justices said they would have denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay. In a dissenting opinion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said federal government rules restricting dispensation of the abortion pill, mifepristone, are medically unnecessary and present “an unnecessary, unjustifiable, irrational, and undue burden” on women.

A short-handed Supreme Court in October had declined to intervene in the same case. That allowed abortion clinics to continue dispensing the pills via telemedicine and through the mail, which they say has kept patients and staff safer during the pandemic.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its request after Barrett joined the bench. The administration said continuing to enforce longstanding FDA rules on mifepristone, which was approved 20 years ago, “does not create a substantial burden on abortion access.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented abortion clinics challenging the FDA rules, said no evidence has emerged during the pandemic showing it is riskier for patients to receive the pills at home rather than at a clinic. In a December filing with the Supreme Court, the group argued that with the virus surging nationwide, reinstating the rules would “subject patients to needless and grave health risks.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Vaccine is ‘unlikely’ by U.S. election

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday a coronavirus vaccine probably won’t be ready by the U.S. presidential election even as the Centers for Disease and Prevention asks states to ready distribution facilities by Nov. 1. At a health conference, Fauci said it’s more likely a vaccine will be ready by “the end of the year” as drug companies Moderna and Pfizer race to complete patient enrollment for their late-stage vaccine trials by the end of September.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

Vaccine is ‘unlikely’ by U.S. election

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday a coronavirus vaccine probably won’t be ready by the U.S. presidential election even as the Centers for Disease and Prevention asks states to ready distribution facilities by Nov. 1.

At a health conference, Fauci said it’s more likely a vaccine will be ready by “the end of the year” as drug companies Moderna and Pfizer race to complete patient enrollment for their late-stage vaccine trials by the end of September.

“It’s unlikely we’ll have a definitive answer” by the Nov. 3 election, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at the Research! America 2020 National Health Research Forum.

The comments are also at odds with President Donald Trump, who suggested at a press conference Monday that a vaccine could be ready for distribution by Election Day.

UFO Investigation

Pentagon forms new task force

The Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFO sightings that have been observed on several occasions by U.S. military aircraft. The creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, or UAPTF, continues an effort begun in recent years to investigate unexplained aerial incidents encountered by the U.S. military. “The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security,” the Pentagon wrote in a statement late Friday.

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UFO Investigation

Pentagon forms new task force

The Pentagon is forming a new task force to investigate UFO sightings that have been observed on several occasions by U.S. military aircraft. The creation of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, or UAPTF, continues an effort begun in recent years to investigate unexplained aerial incidents encountered by the U.S. military.

“The Department of Defense established the UAPTF to improve its understanding of, and gain insight into, the nature and origins of UAPs. The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security,” the Pentagon wrote in a statement late Friday.

“The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report. This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing,” the statement added.

The new task force will be overseen by the Department of the Navy and will report to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. The U.S. Navy has previously led efforts to look into unidentified aerial phenomena since the service branch has reported several encounters involving their aircraft.

In April, the Pentagon declassified three videos captured by U.S. Navy pilots that appear to show unidentified flying objects. Two of the videos contain U.S. service members commenting on how quickly the object moves while another speculates that the unidentifiable object could be a drone.

“Dude, this is a f--king drone, bro,” one pilot is heard saying. Another says “there’s a whole fleet of them.”

“They’re all going against the wind. The wind’s 120 knots to the west. Look at that thing, dude!” the first person says. “It’s rotating!”

President Donald Trump has previously described the U.S. Navy footage as “a hell of a video” and told Reuters that he wonders “if it’s real.”

In June, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted that the Pentagon as well as intelligence community leaders should provide a public analysis of the encounters.

England

Jürgen Klopp zum Fußball-Manager des Jahres gewählt

Jürgen Klopp ist nach dem Gewinn der Meisterschaft mit dem FC Liverpool von seinen Trainerkollegen zum Fußball-Manager des Jahres in England gewählt worden. Der Coach erhielt die Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy für seine herausragenden Leistungen. Klopp hatte Liverpool in der abgelaufenen Saison zum ersten Meistertitel seit 30 Jahren geführt. "Das ist sehr besonders für mich, weil ich von meinen Kollegen gewählt worden bin", sagte Klopp. Ferguson, der einst Manchester United zur Weltmarke formte, hob die "außerordentliche" Leistung von Klopps Team hervor. "Du hast es absolut verdient".

Fussball England

Lovren und Lallana verlassen Liverpool

Der kroatische Nationalspieler Dejan Lovren und Adam Lallana verlassen den von Jürgen Klopp trainierten englischen Fußballmeister FC Liverpool. Nach sechs Jahren bei den Reds wechselt der 31 Jahre alte Innenverteidiger Lovren in die russische Premjer-Liga zu Zenit St. Petersburg. Das gaben beide Clubs bekannt. Beim russischen Meister unterschrieb Lovren einen Dreijahresvertrag bis 2023. Lallana zieht es indes zu Brighton and Hove Albion. Beim Premier-League-15. erhält der 32-Jährige einen Dreijahresvertrag.