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  • As COVID-19 makes a comeback, so will lockdowns

    As COVID-19 makes a comeback, so will lockdownsWith more tests coming back positive now than ever before — and with infections currently rising in 39 states — lockdowns in some form may be the only way to regain control over the coronavirus.

  • New York attorney general recommends reducing mayor's power over police

    New York attorney general recommends reducing mayor's power over policeNew York Attorney General Letitia James recommended that New York City's mayor give up sole control over the city police commissioner's hiring, in a preliminary report released on Wednesday on her investigation into the policing of recent protests. "There should be an entirely new accountability structure for NYPD," James said in her report, which also recommended giving more power to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a city agency that reviews police misconduct.

  • Black Lives Matter protesters face rare leak charge in Iowa

    Black Lives Matter protesters face rare leak charge in IowaProsecutors in Iowa have filed a rarely used leak charge against Black Lives Matter protesters accused of stealing a confidential police document and displaying it during a television news broadcast. Two protesters are charged with unauthorized dissemination of intelligence data, a felony that carries up to five years in prison. The Iowa Judicial Branch says it's only the second time that the charge has been filed since 2010.

  • Texas Governor Is ‘Putting Lives at Risk,’ Local Officials Say

    Texas Governor Is ‘Putting Lives at Risk,’ Local Officials SayHarris County Judge Lina Hidalgo believes she knows what her county needs to fight back against COVID-19. But because of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, she says she isn’t able to follow through. “I'm at the mercy of what powers he positively gives us,” Hidalgo told The Daily Beast. “As opposed to being able to use my own tools.” As Texas faces a resurgent coronavirus and some officials have emphasized concerns about hospitals in the state becoming potentially overrun or overwhelmed, Hidalgo can find plenty of reasons to worry. Hospitalizations started to increase in late May, she says, and haven't come down since. And recommending that people should stay home just isn’t enough. “We need a stay at home order in Harris County,” she said of her area that includes Houston. “And we need to be able to do that until the curve comes down on the other side.” Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, is resisting calls to give local authorities more control to fight the coronavirus themselves after COVID-19 cases spiked in the state recently. Texas reported more than 10,000 new cases Tuesday, marking a new one day record for the state according to state health department data. Both Hidalgo and Steve Adler, the Democratic mayor of Austin, Texas made their case on national political shows Sunday that they wanted more local control. But at the moment, they’re limited in what they can do locally and say they would need the governor’s help to make aggressive moves, like a stay at home order.  In interviews with The Daily Beast this week, the leaders of both areas feared for what harm could come to their communities without being given the ability to have more local control by the state’s Republican governor. “He's putting at risk the ability for economies to stay open and he's putting lives at risk,” said Adler.  “I feel like we're responding with one hand tied behind our back,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, also a Democrat. “We know what works. We ought to do that, and that's what the community deserves. I think anything short of a stay home order is a gamble, and we don't have time for that.” Texas has become a major hotspot for the coronavirus in recent weeks, with the governor himself halting the state’s reopening push over the mounting cases. Total current hospitalizations have risen sharply in the state, according to The Texas Tribune, with new cases also spiking according to the news site. But in an interview Monday night with local television station KFDM News at 6, Abbott responded to the push by instead chiding local officials, saying that the county judges or mayors that are looking to take more action have “absolutely refused to enforce the current executive orders that are already in place. What they need to show is action, not absenteeism.”  “They need to show up, enforce the law as it is, before they are given any further authority,” Abbott said in the interview. “They ask for more and more, but they do absolutely nothing." Texas Gov. Moves to Stop COVID-19 but It’s Already Out of ControlAbbott’s approach was quickly mocked by Beto O’Rourke, a former presidential candidate and Texas congressman, on Twitter. He tweeted late Monday night: “Abbott opens Texas too soon, issues mask order too late, denies local leaders authority to contain the virus — causing uncontrolled covid spread, many hospitalized & soon dead because of his negligence — and then blames local officials? Pathetic. Resign.” Locally, the mayor of Austin said Abbott was wrong to not give him and other cities local control and is still pushing to have that ability. “It's the best way for the state to be able to ultimately tamp down this virus and to figure out what is the right balance in each community between keeping the economy open in a sustainable way and saving lives,” Adler said. “...The governor's suggestion that he's not going to do it for those reasons because he thinks that cities and counties are not enforcing the existing rules is just not right.” And while Adler said Tuesday he would not automatically make a stay at home order if he was given the power to do so today, he still wants to the right be able to use that tool. Elsewhere in the state, Harris County, which includes Houston, is now at a severe COVID-19 threat level according to the county’s coronavirus website. And on Sunday, the mayor of Houston appeared on Face the Nation warning that  “if we don't get our hands around this virus quickly in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.”Abbott’s resistance comes as the public health situation in Texas has taken a terrifying turn in recent weeks. Late last month, Abbott paused the state’s reopening push, citing rises in hospitalizations from COVID-19 and new cases. Soon after, he rolled back even further by imposing an executive order for bars to close down. And before the fourth of July weekend, the governor signed an executive order that put in place a statewide mask requirement for public locations that applies to “counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. Battles between local officials wanting to be more aggressive and statewide officials emphasizing a more lax approach have become common during the pandemic. In late March, the governor of Mississippi quickly drew the ire of local officials over a confusing executive order that they said hampered their local power. A similar complaint later came from the Democratic mayor of Savannah, Georgia who said in May that the state’s Republican governor had superseded his ability at the local level, creating a situation that meant his city essentially “could do absolutely nothing.” That same month, as states moved into reopening, the attorney general of Texas sent letters to the mayors of Austin, San Antonio and a trio of counties chiding them over specific measures and the raising the potential of a legal battle. The issues targeted included local mask requirements, which went farther than what the state would allow, and shelter-in-place orders. In Dallas County, another area of the state hit hard by the virus, Judge Clay Jenkins is not calling for a local stay at home order this week. But in a letter to Abbott Sunday, he urged for the governor to close locations like gyms and inside restaurant dining after warning the GOP leader that “multiple hospital systems are reporting the largest volumes of COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic.” After calling for Abbott to implement a variety of requirements across the state, or at least regionally,  Jenkins implored the governor to roll back an earlier order “restricting local control” so that his county could make the moves to try and  “slow the spread of the rampant and devastating COVID-19 virus.” “Governor Abbott has stripped local officials of their authority that's worked well in past emergencies and made Texas a leader until he took over in this emergency,” Jenkins, a Democrat, told The Daily Beast. “So it hasn't worked out well at all.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Trump has 91% chance of winning second term, professor’s model predicts

    Trump has 91% chance of winning second term, professor’s model predictsPresident Donald Trump has a 91 per cent chance of winning the November 2020 election, according to a political science professor who has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996.“The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November,” Stony Brook professor Helmut Norpoth told Mediaite on Tuesday.

  • César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

    César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in MiamiCésar Duarte fled Mexico in 2018 after being accused of embezzling millions to fund a lavish lifestyle.

  • Navy SEAL who oversaw bin Laden raid says America's biggest national security issue is the K-12 education system

    Navy SEAL who oversaw bin Laden raid says America's biggest national security issue is the K-12 education systemThe US needs an education system that informs students about the world around them, retired Navy Adm. William McRaven said.

  • Australian man fights off deadly snake that attacked him in his car while he drove down the highway

    Australian man fights off deadly snake that attacked him in his car while he drove down the highwayA man Queensland police identified as Jimmy was driving down the highway in Calliope, Australia, on June 15 when he saw a snake at his feet.

  • The Lincoln Project continues anti-Trump ad campaign

    The Lincoln Project continues anti-Trump ad campaignOn Tuesday, the Lincoln Project, a conservative political action committee formed in late 2019, released an ad titled “Whispers,” which suggests those in President Trump’s inner circle are secretly mocking him. This is the latest in a series of attack ads produced and distributed by the committee, whose members include George Conway, Steve Schmidt and other prominent Republicans who oppose Trump. Yahoo News has assembled a compilation of some of the Lincoln Project’s most controversial advertisements.

  • China’s Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following Backlash

    China’s Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following BacklashChina is attempting to rebrand Confucius Institutes following a worldwide backlash against the centers.Confucius Institutes, which are present on dozens of U.S. college campuses and at other foreign universities, carry the stated purpose of promoting Chinese language and culture. However, U.S. officials have singled out the institutes as propaganda centers that serve as an extension of China's “soft power.”The Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing has changed its name to the “Ministry of Education Centre for Language Education and Cooperation.” Additionally, the organization changed the name of its account on Chinese social-media app WeChat, although it is not clear if Confucius Institutes in other countries will themselves be renamed.The name change is “related to various kinds of pressure, but it is by no means succumbing to them,” Sun Yixue, a professor at the International School of Tongji University in Shanghai, told the South China Morning Post. “It is a timely adjustment made by China to adapt to the new situation of world language and cultural exchanges, but this does not mean that all overseas Confucius Institutes should be renamed accordingly.”Several American universities have shut their Confucius Institutes in the past several months, after the coronavirus pandemic led to increased public scrutiny of the U.S.-China relationship and Chinese influence on American campuses. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee are currently in the midst of an investigation into the institutes.“We cannot allow a dangerous Communist regime to buy access to our institutions of higher education, plain and simple,” Representative Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) said in a statement upon announcing the investigation in May. “We owe it to the American people to hold China accountable and to prevent them from doing further harm to our country.”

  • Brazil's Bolsonaro, sick with coronavirus, says he is 'doing very well'

    Brazil's Bolsonaro, sick with coronavirus, says he is 'doing very well'Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday he was "doing very well" after contracting the coronavirus, and credited an unproven drug for his mild symptoms. Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, joining a small list of world leaders who have caught the disease. On Tuesday evening, Bolsonaro said he was already feeling much better as he took what he described as his third dose of hydroxychloroquine.

  • Police: $23 million lost due to ongoing Portland protests

    Police: $23 million lost due to ongoing Portland protestsDowntown businesses in Portland, Oregon, have sustained about $23 million in damages and lost customers because of violent nightly protests that have brought the city to its knees, authorities said Wednesday. At a police briefing, Deputy Chief Chris Davis said the intensity of the violence by an “agitator corps” and the length of the protests that are now in their sixth week are unprecedented in Oregon's largest city. Davis made a sharp distinction between Black Lives Matter protesters, whom he said were not violent, and a smaller group of people he repeatedly called “agitators.”

  • Mom kidnaps daughter and flies to Mexico to give Russia US defense secrets, feds say

    Mom kidnaps daughter and flies to Mexico to give Russia US defense secrets, feds sayThe woman was trying to make contact with Russian government officials “to request resettlement in a country that would not extradite her to the United States,” prosecutors said.

  • New law would require NYPD police to take out individual insurance to cover misconduct claims

    New law would require NYPD police to take out individual insurance to cover misconduct claimsA new bill introduced by a US lawmaker would require police officers to take out personal liability insurance to cover civil lawsuits filed against them for misconduct, reports have said.The new law, introduced by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, would mean that police are no longer represented by the city law department, according to a report by The New York Post.

  • CEO apologizes after racist rant targeting Asian American family

    CEO apologizes after racist rant targeting Asian American familyThe executive from San Francisco is seen on video yelling racial slurs and expletives before a waiter tells him to leave.

  • Amid Black Lives Matter protests, more school districts are pushing to address racism. Is it enough?

    Amid Black Lives Matter protests, more school districts are pushing to address racism. Is it enough?School districts say they want to be more proactive in battling systemic racism, from hiring diverse teachers to desegregating schools. Is it enough?

  • Former India navy officer refuses to appeal spying death sentence

    Former India navy officer refuses to appeal spying death sentenceA former Indian naval officer on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying has refused to lodge an appeal against his conviction and will try instead for a military pardon, an official said Wednesday. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav was arrested in 2016 in Pakistan's restive southwestern province of Balochistan -- a region where Islamabad has long accused New Delhi of backing separatist rebels.

  • 15 Platform Beds to Elevate Your Bedroom Style
  • Trump admin plans to block asylum seekers from U.S. by citing risk of COVID-19

    Trump admin plans to block asylum seekers from U.S. by citing risk of COVID-19Citing "potential international threats" from pandemics, the Trump admin announced plans to make public health risk a reason to deny asylum to migrants.

  • U.S. says Carlos Ghosn wired money to man who helped him flee Japan

    U.S. says Carlos Ghosn wired money to man who helped him flee JapanThe disclosure came less than a day after the men, Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor, who are trying to avoid extradition to Japan in connection with Ghosn's escape, petitioned a U.S. judge to release them on bail. Lawyers for the Taylors said they have been held for more than six weeks at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Massachusetts, where 36 inmates and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, based on flawed arrest warrants and extradition requests.

  • US seizes 81 vehicles in Venezuela smuggling ring

    US seizes 81 vehicles in Venezuela smuggling ringFederal investigators said Wednesday they have seized 81 vehicles worth an estimated $3.2 million that were bound for Venezuela as part of a smuggling ring operated for wealthy and politically connected people. “This is all part of an ongoing effort to combat foreign public corruption and in particular for public corruption in Venezuela and the laundering and the fleecing of the Venezuelan people’s wealth and the stealing of the Venezuelan wealth from the national treasury for the gain of a few politically exploited, exposed people, kleptocrats and their associates,” Salisbury said.

  • Did Doxxing of an Oklahoma Councilwoman Lead to a Neighbor Being Raped?

    Did Doxxing of an Oklahoma Councilwoman Lead to a Neighbor Being Raped?A city council member in Norman, Oklahoma, proposed a police budget cut. Then officers for that department posted her address online. Days later, a woman who lived in the other half of her duplex was raped by an assailant who allegedly made a political threat.The attack was a case of retaliation and mistaken identity, the council member alleges.Alexandra Scott, a Norman council member who won the Democratic nomination for her state Senate seat last month, is an outspoken critic of her city’s police force. When racial justice protests swept the nation in June, Scott proposed slashing the Norman Police budget by $4.5 million. During a city council meeting about defunding, she also discussed a stalking incident she experienced, which she said police handled improperly. Now a pair of Norman Police officers are under investigation for allegedly posting Scott’s personal information online, which Scott says may have led to the sexual assault of her neighbor.These 911 Emergency Dispatchers Are Ready to Defund the PoliceDefunding the police is a fraught issue across the country, but especially in Norman, where police have made their disagreements with elected officials well known. Amid calls to slash the city’s police budget by millions, council members voted to reallocate $865,000 from the department. The move didn’t cut the police’s overall budget (it mostly vetoes the department’s requested raise, but keeps the department’s coffers at slightly above last year’s budget) but it was enough for the city’s police union to file a lawsuit against city council this month. Scott’s criticism of Norman Police has made her a favorite villain in some pro-police circles in the city. A recent Facebook post shared by a Norman Police officer called her “another AOC,” in reference to the New York representative who has become a boogeyperson for conservatives. That same police officer, John Barbour, is one of two under investigation for sharing Scott’s personal details shortly after her testimony on police defunding. In posts first reported by the Norman Transcript, Barbour made a Facebook post sharing an unredacted video of police responding to Scott’s 911 call in May. (Although details of the video remain unconfirmed, they align with Scott’s own testimony about calling 911 on a stalker that month.)Neither Scott nor Norman Police returned The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. Barbour declined to comment, referring The Daily Beast to the Norman Police public information officer, as his case was under investigation. A spokesperson for the group Norman Citizens for Racial Justice said Scott’s address was identifiable in the post. “After Alex shared her story of solidarity during that [city council] study session, an officer released an unredacted report and some footage of her making a police report fairly recently,” the spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “Those items that the officer uploaded to Facebook had her home address on there.”This Utah Police Chief Was Promoted Even After His Racist Posts Were Exposed. Now Residents Want Him Out.When Barbour was met with criticism online for the video, he responded sarcastically. “So what I am getting is that if the issue was the officer let everyone see, but when someone slanders the fine officers on open record meeting it’s not ok to find out the proof,” he posted, apparently accusing Scott of being dishonest in her testimony.Barbour removed the video but shared a recent police report (from when Scott was arrested at a recent protest) that contained her address. In comments viewed by The Daily Beast, Barbour accused Scott of participating in a riot. When commenters noted that “you can’t just call protesters rioters … There was no riot,” Barbour responded, “If you say so….but I bet state law says different.”Another Norman Police officer, Michael Lauderback, appears to have also shared Scott’s personal information using the Facebook handle “Tired Ofthehate,” which was linked to his legal name. Lauderback posted a picture of a sexual assault report Scott made in 2015. Lauderback could not be reached for comment and appears to have since deleted his Facebook account.Both officers are now under investigation for posting Scott’s personal information, the Norman Record reported. The police department noted that since Barbour claimed to have obtained the video from a third party who obtained it through a public records request, the officers’ posts appear to be legal.But Scott and Norman Citizens for Racial Justice said the posts play into a larger culture of harassment that has emerged on Norman-centric social media. “Most of the targeting happened after we started advocating for defunding the police,” the Racial Justice spokesperson told The Daily Beast, noting that many people in her group were experiencing harassment from a “ReOpen Norman” Facebook page.In a since-deleted Facebook post, Scott said that social media activity had led to real-world horror for her and a neighbor.“People were passing around my address on social media (and wherever else) for 2 weeks & making light of my experiences with assault and stalking,” she wrote. “I’ve received threatening messages and voicemails from men stating they, ‘hoped I didn’t need the police’ when something happened.”Scott claims those threats came to a head late last month. Her address, which was shared publicly, is in a duplex building. On June 27, someone broke into the other half of the duplex and assaulted Scott’s neighbor.“She was raped by [a] stranger who broke into her side of our duplex last night. She had been out with her father, he dropped her off around Midnight and left. Then she was assaulted in her hallway,” Scott wrote in the now-deleted post. “Her rapist dug his elbow into her neck, pushed her into the wall, and told her ‘Maybe next time you’ll learn your lesson.’ He threw her on the ground and raped her.”The attack, she said, was intended for her. “They got the wrong woman,” she wrote. Norman Police released a statement acknowledging the incident and the prior publication of the address on social media although, in a heavily redacted police report obtained by the Transcript, the incident is described as a burglary.Since Norman Police officers posted Scott’s address, it has circulated on right-wing Oklahoma pages, where it remains online. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Former Marine who played wide receiver in college catches a three-year-old boy thrown from burning building

    Former Marine who played wide receiver in college catches a three-year-old boy thrown from burning buildingA former Marine and wide receiver in college American football caught a three-year-old boy who was thrown from a burning building by his mother.Phillip Blanks was filmed catching Jameson Long on 3 July in Phoenix, Arizona, after he heard the child’s mother, Rachel Long, call for help from inside the building.

  • Letters to the Editor: Wear a mask so you can be healthy enough to vote Trump out of office on Nov. 3

    Letters to the Editor: Wear a mask so you can be healthy enough to vote Trump out of office on Nov. 3Trump is angry and terrified. He will do anything to win re-election, so we must watch him closely until Nov. 3.

  • California officer under investigation for allegedly sharing 'vulgar image' of George Floyd; NAACP San Diego calls for his firing

    California officer under investigation for allegedly sharing 'vulgar image' of George Floyd; NAACP San Diego calls for his firingA San Diego officer is under investigation for allegedly sharing an "altered photograph" of a "naked black male porn star" kneeling on George Floyd.

  • Why "all lives matter" communicates to Black people that their lives don't

    Why "all lives matter" communicates to Black people that their lives don'tTo many White people, "all lives matter" seems like a harmless, inclusive remark. For the Black community, however, it's anything but.

  • Russia tells US to 'mind own business' over media freedom

    Russia tells US to 'mind own business' over media freedomMoscow has told the US embassy to "mind your own business" after Washington's diplomatic mission raised concern about curbs on media freedom in Russia. Rebecca Ross, the spokeswoman for the US embassy, on Tuesday expressed concern about a clampdown on journalists in Russia. "Watching arrest after arrest of Russian journalists – it's starting to look like a concerted campaign against #MediaFreedom," she tweeted.

  • House defense spending bill would give the MQ-9 Reaper drone a second life

    House defense spending bill would give the MQ-9 Reaper drone a second lifeAppropriators are also backing the purchase of a bunch of other aircraft across the services.

  • Militants kill local politician from Modi's party in Indian Kashmir
  • Outspoken Iraqis fear rogue groups after analyst killed

    Outspoken Iraqis fear rogue groups after analyst killedThe killing of a prominent security analyst who had received threats from Iran-backed militias has struck fear in the hearts of outspoken Iraqis concerned that they, too, could be targeted by armed groups. The death of Hisham al-Hashimi also highlighted the limits of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's power to reign in armed groups acting outside the state's authority, experts and Iraqi officials said Tuesday. Iraqi mourners and relatives of al-Hashimi carried his body in a funeral procession hours after he was gunned down Monday night outside his home in Baghdad's Zeyouneh neighborhood.

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar calls to dismantle America's 'system of oppression'

    Rep. Ilhan Omar calls to dismantle America's 'system of oppression'Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar says we can't stop at criminal justice and police reform; Venezuelan refugee Daniel Di Martino reacts on 'Fox & Friends.'

  • ‘I’m the mayor’s brother,’ says man who stole car with 2 kids inside, Arkansas cops say

    ‘I’m the mayor’s brother,’ says man who stole car with 2 kids inside, Arkansas cops say“Don’t worry, I’m the mayor’s brother,” he told the children’s parents over the phone, police say.

  • Fox News Host Grills Betsy DeVos on ‘Reckless’ Plan to Reopen Schools

    Fox News Host Grills Betsy DeVos on ‘Reckless’ Plan to Reopen SchoolsPresident Donald Trump threatened to “cut off funding” to schools that don’t reopen amidst the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. And his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is right there with him. On Fox News Wednesday afternoon, host Neil Cavuto repeatedly pressed DeVos on the administration’s official “schools must open” policy. But she didn’t budge, dismissing the risks to not only school children but especially to teachers and their families. “There’s nothing in the data that suggests that it would not be appropriate to have kids in school,” DeVos claimed. “And while there may be spikes in certain areas and certain communities, those are exceptions to the rule. The rule should be that kids need to be back in school. It’s important for their health across the board.”DeVos told Cavuto that the administration was “strongly urging” governors to reopen schools in the fall, the host explained to her that “you’re doing more than that.” “The president is threatening aid to those that don’t. What do you think of that?” Cavuto asked. When DeVos said that schools that don’t reopen are breaking a “promise” to families in their communities, the host interrupted her to say, “But there are extenuating circumstances, right?” Smiling, he added, “There was this little thing called the coronavirus.” An increasingly flustered DeVos kept pushing for schools to reopen regardless, ignoring the health implications. In the communities that have seen spiking cases, Cavuto asked her, “Would it be reckless of a governor or even a mayor in those locales to go ahead and reopen schools as if none of that were going on?”Instead of answering his question, DeVos focused on states like Florida and Texas that have said they will go along with the Trump administration’s push to reopen. “The fact is that kids have to get back to schools and schools have got to reopen,” she said. “We can’t sit around while everything else is opening back up again and have a huge segment of the population—our kids, our future—biding their time and not going back and learning.” DeVos would not ultimately say whether she agreed with Trump’s threats to withhold funding for states that deem reopening schools fundamentally unsafe. Kellyanne Conway Loses It Over Mary Trump Book on Fox NewsRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Gun violence kills 160 as holiday weekend exposes tale of 'two Americas'

    Gun violence kills 160 as holiday weekend exposes tale of 'two Americas'With more than 500 wounded across the US, local leaders see racism and under-investment at the root of the crisisA six-year-old in Philadelphia, a seven-year-old in Chicago, an eight-year-old in Atlanta, a 15-year-old in New York, all shot. Community cries of “enough is enough”.Neighborhoods in some of the largest US cities erupted in gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend, killing an estimated 160 people and leaving more than 500 wounded from Friday night to Sunday.Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, declared a state of emergency on Monday after 31 people were shot and five killed over the weekend in Atlanta. He authorized 1,000 national guard troops to “protect state property and patrol our streets”.But Chicago saw the worst violence in one of the bloodiest holiday weekends in recent memory, ending with 17 people fatally shot including a seven-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy and 63 more wounded, an increase of five shootings on the high figures that had marred the holiday weekend the previous year.Despite an effort that included an additional 1,200 officers on the streets and pleas from the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, for residents not to reverse limited progress that had been made against the epidemic of gun violence, Lightfoot lamented the children whose “hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun”.The city’s south and west sides have seen worse weekends this year, however, and a one-year-old and a three-year-old were killed during recent shootings. The rising violence prompted Donald Trump to write to Lightfoot and the Illinois governor, JB Priztker, both Democrats, accusing them of receiving more than $1bn in special federal funding for anti-crime measures and coronavirus relief that was “not being turned into results”.“Your lack of leadership … continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect,” the letter said.Lightfoot dismissed Trump’s letter as “all talk, little action”.The shooting death of an eight-year-old girl, Secoriea Turner, in Atlanta, prompted the mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, to call for justice while noting the shadow such street violence casts over the huge and largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality.“Enough is enough,” Bottoms said. “If you want people to take us seriously and you don’t want us to lose this movement, we can’t lose each other.”The shooting happened near the Wendy’s restaurant where a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, was killed by a white police officer in June.“She was only eight years old,” Charmaine Turner said of her daughter Secoriea. “Right now, she would have been on TikTok, dancing on her phone.”Atlanta police said two other people were killed and more than 20 injured in gunfire during the holiday weekend.In New York, a series of shootings on Saturday and Sunday claimed at least nine lives and wounded 41 others in a rise in incidents in some neighborhoods. A 15-year-old boy was wounded in the Bronx.And in Philadelphia, a six-year-old boy died of a gunshot wound amid five fatal shootings in about five hours on Sunday afternoon, police said.The Trace, a non-profit news website covering gun violence in the US, which tallied the weekend toll of shootings in the US, reported that preliminary research from the University of California, Davis, has found a potential link between the rise in violence and a surge in gun-buying during the coronavirus pandemic, of more than 2.1 million more guns than usual between March and May.> Chicago is, woefully, a tale of two cities and across the country it’s a tale of two Americas> > Rev Gregory LivingstonThe Rev Gregory Livingston, a pastor and civil rights leader who moved to New York last summer after many years running an anti-violence community organization in his native Chicago, spoke of Chicago “going through absolute madness”.But he warned that nationwide systemic racism that is not being addressed, and the “violent history” of America that has not been reckoned with were dividing people and causing some communities to break down.“Chicago is, woefully, a tale of two cities, and across the country it’s a tale of two Americas. Chicago is a very segregated city, and that legacy is part of what’s fueling this horrific violence,” Livingston told the Guardian.He condemned “corruption and racism” and said the pandemic and economic fallout had exacerbated inequality. The pandemic has been disproportionately hard on Black Americans already suffering economic and healthcare deprivations.Livingston campaigned strongly to vote out the previous Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Lightfoot has been in the position since May 2019, and has just appointed a new police chief.Lightfoot agreed with Livingston’s point that a long history of segregation in Chicago and under-investment were “at the root” of the “explosion” of violence.“You have to give a sense of hope. You have to reach out to those young men on the corners who are the shooters, but it can’t just be on the police and the city government. It’s all hands on deck,” Lightfoot said.She said of Trump: “We are leading. He needs to take our lead and follow it.”Livingston called on Lightfoot to tackle racism and policing problems “head on”.“There is an individual responsibility [among those shooting], but there are also conditions that create a climate of violence,” he said.He accused the New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, of being “scared” of confronting racism in the New York police department. “There is no courage in city hall,” he said.And he warned mayors across the US that Chicago was the “control” for what would happen elsewhere this summer if inequality and the demands of protesters coast to coast since George Floyd, an African American, was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer did not spur change.The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, declared herself dismayed that she was not asked about the weekend shootings at her briefing on Monday, despite citing “a doubling of shootings in New York City for the third straight week”.> Multiple shootings in multiple Democrat-run cities such as New York and Chicago. Tragic loss of life. > > But not one question during the briefing...> > — Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) July 6, 2020Journalists at the briefing responded that she had ended the 22-minute briefing and departed while many were still waiting, hands raised, to ask questions.

  • Michigan drivers met with startling billboard message: 'Driving while Black? Racial profiling just ahead'

    Michigan drivers met with startling billboard message: 'Driving while Black? Racial profiling just ahead'"Driving while Black? Racial profiling just ahead. Welcome to Livonia," the billboard reads. The town's mayor called the sign "counterproductive."

  • Rare Tsunami Formed In Chesapeake Bay During Monday's Storms, Forecasters Say

    Rare Tsunami Formed In Chesapeake Bay During Monday's Storms, Forecasters SayA rare meteotsunami formed in the Chesapeake Bay as thunderstorms rolled through Maryland Monday night. According the The National Weather Service's Mt. Holly bureau the tsunami formed near Tolchester Beach in Kent County. Katie Johnston reports.

  • Coronavirus: Anger over US decision on foreign students' visas

    Coronavirus: Anger over US decision on foreign students' visasForeign students whose courses move completely online may have to move universities to stay in the US.

  • U.S. may see 'some spots' of economic damage as states see coronavirus surge, Kudlow says

    U.S. may see 'some spots' of economic damage as states see coronavirus surge, Kudlow saysThe economy would likely suffer some impacts as certain U.S. states reimpose coronavirus-related restrictions, but imposing another nationwide shutdown would be "a big mistake," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday. "I don't see it yet," Kudlow told reporters at the White House, referring to any economic fallout as some of the country's most populous states such as Florida, Texas and California saw cases surge and reimposed various measures aimed at mitigating the outbreak. Kudlow earlier told CNBC that another nationwide shutdown would harm businesses and Americans' wellbeing.

  • US general sees smaller but enduring troop presence in Iraq

    US general sees smaller but enduring troop presence in IraqSix months after a deadly American airstrike in Baghdad enraged Iraqis and fueled demands to send all U.S. troops home, the top U.S. general for the Middle East is talking optimistically about keeping a smaller but enduring military presence there. Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, met Tuesday with Iraq's new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and said afterward that he believes the Iraqis welcome the U.S. and coalition troops, especially in the ongoing fight to keep Islamic State militants from taking hold of the country again. “I believe that going forward, they’re going to want us to be with them,” McKenzie told a small group of reporters, speaking by phone hours after he left Iraq.

  • New York mayor blames 'dislocation' caused by coronavirus for wave of shootings that left 10 dead and 54 injured over weekend

    New York mayor blames 'dislocation' caused by coronavirus for wave of shootings that left 10 dead and 54 injured over weekendAt least 10 people were killed among 64 shootings reported in New York City over the Fourth of July weekend, which saw a violent spree in several major cities still reeling from coronavirus infections and widespread protests against police violence.For the first time since 2016, the city surpassed 400 shootings by mid-year. The New York Police Department reported that the city saw 528 shootings by the end of June, one of the most violent halves of the year in more than 20 years.

  • $400,000: The Cost to Unclog a Toilet on a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier

    $400,000: The Cost to Unclog a Toilet on a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier" Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the toilet tissue on the ship has been in the media. In 2011 there were reports that at least twice in the carriers' first year in service all 423 toilets were out of service simultaneously"

  • Trump: 'I disagree' with Fauci on COVID-19 in the US

    Trump: 'I disagree' with Fauci on COVID-19 in the USPresident Donald Trump on Tuesday said he disagrees with the assessment of the country's top immunologist, Anthony Fauci, on the dire situation the United States faces as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to spread. "The current state is really not good," the highly respected Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Facebook and Twitter livestream on Monday.

  • ‘Legally armed Good Samaritan’ saves woman from being strangled, Tennessee cops say

    ‘Legally armed Good Samaritan’ saves woman from being strangled, Tennessee cops sayThe incident unfolded outside a Bojangles restaurant Tuesday.

  • Chances of global warming to 1.5C within five years doubles under new modelling

    Chances of global warming to 1.5C within five years doubles under new modellingGlobal temperatures have a 20 per cent change of reaching 1.5C above pre-industrial levels in the next five years, according to new analysis from the World Meteorological Organisation which doubles the likelihood from an earlier assessment. Analysis last year from the Met Office, which led on the new report, put the likelihood at 10 per cent. The Met Office said the higher figure was produced by using models from ten different climate centres around the world for the first time. The Paris Agreement, which governments signed up to in 2015, aims to limit global warming to 1.5C and at least 2C, based on averages over a 30-year period. Current warming is at 1C, which the WMO said would continue over the next five years, with a one in five chance that one year would hit 1.5C and a 70 per cent chance that one month would. “This study shows – with a high level of scientific skill – the enormous challenge ahead in meeting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change target of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. The predictions take into account natural variations, such as the El Nino climate cycle, as well as human impact. They do not take into account changes in greenhouse gas emissions from the coronavirus lockdown. The models also suggest that almost all areas are likely to be warmer than the recent past, with the Sahel and high latitude regions wetter. Professor Adam Scaife, the head of long range prediction at the Met Office, said: “This is an exciting new scientific capability. As human-induced climate change grows, it is becoming even more important for governments and decision makers to understand the current climate risks on an annually-updated basis.”

  • Why Iranians, rattled by suicides, point a finger at leaders
  • Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

    Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever.State-run schools have undercut two fundamental conditions of a healthy tolerant society. First, they’ve created millions of civic illiterates who are disconnected from long-held communal values and national identity. Second, they’ve exacerbated the very inequalities that trigger the tearing apart of fissures.If you’re interested in ferreting out “systemic racism,” go to a big-city public-school system. No institution has fought harder to preserve segregated communities than the average teachers’ union. And I don’t mean only in the schools.Prosperous Americans already enjoy school choice -- and not merely because they can afford private schools. Anyone who has ever tried to buy a suburban home in a major metro area can tell you how acutely school districts influence home prices. Many middle-class and working-class families are priced out of areas with good schools because of inflated home values and high property taxes. And families who might otherwise choose to live in more diverse areas are kept out because of failing schools.This entire dynamic is driven by the antiquated notion that the best way to educate kids is to throw them into the nearest government building. It’s the teachers’ unions that safeguard these fiefdoms through racketeering schemes: First they funnel taxpayer dollars to the political campaigns of allies who, when elected, return the favor by protecting union monopolies and supporting higher taxes that fund unions and ultimately political campaigns. So goes the cycle, decade after decade, one failed student after the next.Even in cities where limited choice exists, most poor parents, typically black or Hispanic, are compelled to send their kids to inferior schools, even if there are better-suited schools within walking distance. More than a decade ago, I sat in a Denver auditorium with a single Hispanic mom who was, quite literally, praying that her kid’s number would be picked in a charter-school lottery. The mother wept as her number was passed over, not because she was a partisan reactionary -- she didn’t care about politics -- but because she knew her son would now be forced to attend a subpar and unsafe high school rather than one specifically designed to help first-generation kids assimilate.It was a heartbreaking scene. And it’s only gotten worse. Colorado has since become a blue state, and Democrats have killed or obstructed numerous school-choice initiatives once supported by moderates in their party. In Denver, schools systems have helped solidify segregated communities, and the achievement gap between white and minority students is one of the worst in the country.Nevertheless, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden says he’ll create not a child-oriented Department of Education but a “teacher-oriented Department of Education.” By teachers, Biden means unions. Teachers unions spent $30 million on federal elections alone in 2016 -- virtually all of it on Democrats. It’s about more than the money they give, however. Unions organize, campaign, and march for liberal causes. As a Washington Post piece (“Teachers’ unions may not raise pay — but they do bolster the Democratic Party”) aptly put it not long ago:> But teachers’ unions do accomplish something politically notable: They are a vital part of liberal coalitions and the Democratic Party. Teachers’ union organization and mobilization, like that of other government workers’ unions, have long compensated for the declining membership in traditional organized labor. What’s more, they’ve advanced the causes of women’s and LGBTQ rights — rights that are important to many or most of their members. They’ve done that by delivering money, mobilization and organization to both the Democratic Party and to feminist groups.It’s likely that left-wing ideologues run your school district. They decide what your children learn. They are the ones who decide that your kid can protest the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but never, not in a million years, march for any cause the Founders might have championed.Anecdotally speaking, I can confirm that the teaching of American history in at least one D.C. suburb -- perhaps a better way to put it would be the un-teaching of American history -- is detestable. Most events are couched in relativism; or, worse, the textbooks accentuate every sin and downplay every accomplishment. It would be one thing if this kind of ideological shading were relegated to history class, but it has infected plenty of other things.If you have no interest in funding campaigns for “women’s and LGBTQ rights” (euphemisms for pro-abortion and anti-religious-liberty causes), well, that’s too bad. If you can’t homeschool your kid or send her to a pricey private school, you lose.The embedded left-wing nature of big school districts is so normalized that parents rarely say a word. Mom and Dad can buy virtually anything from anywhere in the world, but they can’t use their tax dollars to buy Timmy an education that aligns with their values.It was one thing when these schools were producing mere Democrats, and it’s quite another now that they’re churning out hordes of chillingly ignorant voters.A recent study found that 60 percent of Americans couldn’t pass a U.S. Citizenship Test. It comes as no surprise that those 65 or older scored the best, with 74 percent correctly answering at least six out of ten questions. Of those 45 and younger, only 19 percent passed the exam -- and the younger the test-takers, the less likely they were to pass. Sixty percent of those tested didn’t know which countries their grandparents fought during World War II. And only 24 percent knew why Americans colonists had fought the British.Now, I’m under no illusion that higher education is the sole driver of common sense and patriotism -- intellectuals are susceptible to some the dumbest ideas ever conceived-– but if state-run schools can’t even teach the Founding, how are we going to move forward as a nation?Some pundits point out that elite private schools have even worse problems with progressivism than the average public schools. That’s probably true -- and also largely irrelevant. But a voucher system creates opportunities for all kinds of students, not just wealthy ones. It stands to reason, when one considers virtually every other marketplace in existence, that competition in education would generate a diverse array of schools offering an array of teaching methods and cultures to meet the needs of consumers. It would also pressure traditional public schools to do a better job retaining students.There is no panacea. School choice won’t instantaneously fix our problems. Yet without closing the gap in educational achievement, it seems unlikely we’re going to fix inequality. Without fixing the corrosion of civic education, it’s unlikely that American liberalism is going to survive. We can’t fix either problem without smashing “public education” as it exists. It might already be too late.

  • Trump Aide Peter Navarro’s Bonkers CNN Interview: ‘Give Peace a Chance, Give Hydroxy a Chance’

    Trump Aide Peter Navarro’s Bonkers CNN Interview: ‘Give Peace a Chance, Give Hydroxy a Chance’White House trade adviser Peter Navarro appeared on CNN on Tuesday morning for yet another off-the-rails interview, this time devoting much of his energy to promoting anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine following a disputed new study finding some efficacy in treating the coronavirus.Last week, in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration revoking the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine due to serious safety issues and lack of benefit for COVID-19 patients, a Michigan study found the Trump-touted drug helped patients weather the virus. The findings, however, were quickly disputed by other experts, who noted that the study excluded a large number of patients who hadn’t yet been discharged from the hospital.Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Navarro quickly brushed off a series of questions from anchor John Berman about the rapid surge of new coronavirus cases in several states, immediately hyping hydroxychloroquine as a game-changer that can greatly reduce mortality rates.Navarro would go on to claim that the reason the United States is experiencing rising cases is because of high asymptomatic spread, ignoring the rising hospitalizations and the fact that other developed countries are experiencing rapid decreases in confirmed cases. At the same time, the Trump aide kept referring to the disease as the “China virus” while pivoting to his favorite malaria drug.“Peter, I promise to get to hydroxychloroquine,” Berman noted at one point, attempting to question Navarro about mask-wearing.“Look, you guys beat that one to death and I won’t get involved in that,” Navarro griped over a question about the president publicly wearing a mask, accusing CNN of making a “meme” out of it.Navarro, in between attempts to inject hydroxychloroquine into the conversation, also advised against additional lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus, warning that more stay-at-home orders will cause people to “die from alcoholism and depression.”Berman eventually got to the study of the controversial drug, prompting Navarro to explicitly call for the FDA to reverse its stance on hydroxychloroquine’s emergency use as a COVID-19 treatment. The CNN anchor, meanwhile, pointed out that this study was double-blinded and randomized, the gold standard in clinical trials.“Give peace a chance, give hydroxy a chance,” Navarro shot back.The lengthy conversation would careen to a wild ending when Berman attempted to confront Navarro on the president’s tweet attacking NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who is Black, and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s refusal to address Trump’s position on Confederate flags.Claiming it wasn’t his “lane” as he’s “not a surrogate,” Navarro went on to say that he doesn’t “see race” because he is from California. He then shared a story from his youth that shaped his current racial views.“My awakening on the race issue was when I was eight years old in a Woolworth’s store in West Palm Beach, Florida, when I walked over and I took a drink from the colored water fountain because I wanted to see colored water,” he said. “And this woman came up to me and just gently said, ‘You can’t drink from that.’ I go, ‘Why?’ She says, ‘That’s for colored people.’ I’m 8 years old and that didn’t make sense to me. I’m a Californian, we don’t see race out there.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Philadelphia waives 100s of protest-related code violations
  • FBI head calls China 'the greatest long-term threat' to the US and alleges Chinese plots to steal US data and forcibly repatriate its citizens

    FBI head calls China 'the greatest long-term threat' to the US and alleges Chinese plots to steal US data and forcibly repatriate its citizensIn remarks Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said China was threatening Chinese nationals abroad through a program called "Fox Hunt."

  • U.S. coronavirus cases rise by over 60,000, setting single-day record

    U.S. coronavirus cases rise by over 60,000, setting single-day recordThe United States faces a bleak summer with record-breaking infections and many states forced to close parts of the economy again, leaving some workers without a paycheck. In addition to nearly 10,000 new cases in Florida, Texas reported over 9,500 cases and California reported more than 8,500 new infections. It was the second day in a row that U.S. deaths climbed by more than 900 in a day, the highest levels seen since early June, according to the tally.