cURL error 22: The requested URL returned error: 404
Or try one of the following: ER24, CAPE TOWN FREEWAY, ARRIVE ALIVE, SAPS NEWS, TRAFFIC SA, SAPS, POLICE PICS & CLIPS, BBC News, BBC Arabic, BBC China, BBC Russia, Brent Simmons, Channel Frederator, CNN, Digg, Diggnation, Flickr, Google News, Google Video, Harvard Law, Hebrew Language, InfoWorld, iTunes, Japanese Language, Korean Language, mir.aculo.us, Movie Trailers, Newspond, Nick Bradbury, OK/Cancel, OS News, Phil Ringnalda, Photoshop Videocast, reddit, Romanian Language, Russian Language, Ryan Parman, Traditional Chinese Language, Technorati, Tim Bray, TUAW, TVgasm, UNEASYsilence, Web 2.0 Show, Windows Vista Blog, XKCD, Yahoo! News, You Tube, Zeldman
Western Australia hit by 'once-in-a-decade' storm 25 May 2020, 5:52 am
Milestones of US human spaceflights 25 May 2020, 4:47 am
Here are key milestones in the history of crewed US spaceflights, which resume on May 27 with the first transport of US astronauts to the International Space Station for nine years. Less than a month later, on May 5, American Alan Shepard carries out a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury, launched in 1958 by the newly-created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Weeks later US President John F. Kennedy launches the Apollo program, which foresees a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
Taiwan promises 'necessary assistance' to Hong Kong's people 25 May 2020, 2:52 am
Taiwan will provide the people of Hong Kong with "necessary assistance", President Tsai Ing-wen said, after thousands in the Chinese ruled territory protested against Beijing's plans to impose new national security laws. Taiwan has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, which has been convulsed since last year by anti-Beijing and anti-Hong Kong government protests. Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of people who rallied on Sunday to protest against Beijing's move to introduce new national security laws.
Iran oil tanker reaches Venezuela amid US tension 25 May 2020, 1:54 am
New Zealand leader carries on with TV interview during quake 25 May 2020, 12:47 am
Beach and party crowds across US break social distancing rules over Memorial Day weekend 24 May 2020, 11:26 pm
Despite several weeks of warnings from health officials to follow “social distancing” measures and wear face coverings in public, Americans across the US crowded beaches and parties over Memorial Day weekend, among the first tests of a post-quarantine return to “normal” amid the coronavirus pandemic, as officials end “lock-down” measures to reopen their states.Video from a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office helicopter on Saturday captured dozens of people blocking traffic near Daytona Beach, Florida, where officials required visitors to wear masks but have resigned that the mandate is “not realistic” or enforceable in large crowds.
South African President Ramaphosa says outbreak will get worse 24 May 2020, 11:16 pm
A study found that tech workers could flee dense San Francisco for suburban-like San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley amid remote working boom 24 May 2020, 10:25 pm
Virus lockdowns stifle Eid celebrations as infections rise 24 May 2020, 9:56 pm
Muslims around the world began marking a sombre Eid al-Fitr Sunday, many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offered respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections. The three-day festival, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts and shopping for new clothes, gifts and sweet treats. Further dampening the festive spirit, many countries -- from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey and Syria -- have banned mass prayer gatherings to limit the spread of the disease.
Alarm in Cabinet that Boris Johnson's decision to back Dominic Cummings could cost lives 24 May 2020, 9:37 pm
Boris Johnson stepped in to protect Dominic Cummings on Sunday night in a move which caused alarm among some members of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister made an unscheduled appearance at a Downing Street press conference in which he defended his chief adviser against accusations that he breached lockdown rules, insisting he had “acted responsibly and legally and with integrity”. Cabinet colleagues, however, expressed fear that the move risked “seriously undermining” the Government’s lockdown strategy. Some even suggested the support for Mr Cummings could cost lives because the public will use it as justification for ignoring social distancing. Meanwhile, government scientific advisers said Mr Johnson had “trashed” the advice they had given him on how to build trust in measures needed to keep coronavirus under control. Mr Johnson said Mr Cummings had been following “instinct” when he drove his family from London to Durham to self-isolate at his parents’ farm.
Memorial Day weekend pool party in Ozarks draws national attention 24 May 2020, 8:41 pm
Coronavirus: Trump aide claims China guilty of cover-up akin to Chernobyl 24 May 2020, 7:32 pm
* Trump spends second day on golf course as toll nears 100,000 * China raises US trade tensions with warning of ‘new cold war’ * Coronavirus US live – rolling report The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000.Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”.On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.The Trump administration has become increasingly keen to move attention away from its handling of the pandemic, which has seen more deaths in the US than any other nation and a broken economy including soaring unemployment that another senior adviser told CNN would still be “in double digits” by the 3 November presidential election.O’Brien dampened speculation that the administration might seek to delay that election. But as China warned that Washington’s “lies” were “pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”, he went firmly on the attack.> Someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl> > Robert O'BrienSpeaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, he claimed Beijing knew of the looming crisis as early as November but chose to keep it quiet.“We don’t know who in the Chinese government did it, but it doesn’t matter if it was the local Chinese government or the Communist party of China,” he said.“Look, this was a virus that was unleashed by China. There was a cover up that someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl,” he added, likening the pandemic to the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine which Soviet authorities initially tried to hide.O’Brien repeated the claim on NBC’s Meet the Press, accusing China of a “cover-up that … is going to go down in history along with Chernobyl”.Most scientists say the pathogen that has infected 5.3 million people and killed more than 342,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, was passed from bats to humans via an intermediary species probably sold at a wet market in Wuhan, China, last year.But Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior US figures have repeatedly said they suspect the coronavirus was somehow released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim China has strenuously denied.O’Brien claimed China’s alleged skulduggery was continuing.“There’s a chance, and it’s been reported, that the Chinese have been engaged in espionage to try and find the research and the technologies that we’re working on both for a vaccine and a therapy,” he told CBS.“So look, they’ve got a many, many year history of stealing American intellectual property and knocking off American technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that with vaccines.”O’Brien also said the US would soon implement restrictions on travelers from Brazil.After spending much of Saturday playing golf at his resort in Virginia, Trump had no public engagements on Sunday. He duly went back to Trump National in Sterling.On Twitter the president, who criticized Barack Obama in 2014 for golfing when a second case of Ebola was confirmed in the US, preferred to concentrate on topics other than the pandemic.Trump feuded with his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions; attacked Joe Biden, his likely opponent in November; retweeted abusive messages about female opponents; repeated unsubstantiated allegations that mail-in ballots lead to rigged elections; and repeated baseless insinuations that an MSNBC host might have murdered an aide.He also tweeted falsely that coronavirus “cases, numbers and deaths are going down all over the Country!”On Saturday, North Carolina reported its highest one-day spike in cases. Official statistics continue to show hotspots in other places including Washington DC – where O’Brien said the administration still hopes to hold an in-person G7 summit in July – and Florida, where the Miami Herald reported that the rate of new cases was not slowing.On Friday Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, encouraged the public to go outdoors over the Memorial Day weekend.“We know being outside does help, we know the sun does help in killing the virus, but that doesn’t change the fact that people need to be responsible and maintain that distance,” she told Fox News Sunday, when presented with images of packed beaches and people in close proximity, not wearing masks.“I was hoping to convey this very clear message to the American people,” she said, “… across the country there is a virus out there.”Birx also said Trump himself did wear a mask when not able to maintain social distance. Trump was not pictured using a mask on his trips to play golf in Virginia.On ABC’s This Week, Birx was asked if the nation would need an extended or second lockdown.“It’s difficult to tell and I really am data-driven, so I’m collecting data right now about whether governors and whether states and whether communities are able to open safely,” she said.“All of this proactive testing needs to be in place and needs to continue to be in place because that will determine safely remaining open in the fall.”One thing the Trump administration admits will not bounce back fully by fall is the US unemployment rate, which Kevin Hassett, a senior adviser, told CNN would still be in double figures by the time of the election.“Unemployment will be something that moves back slower,” he said. “You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s [per cent] and working your way down. And so, of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October.”
Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid-al-Fitr amid curfews, coronavirus restrictions 24 May 2020, 7:10 pm
North Dakota Governor Chokes Up as He Calls on State Residents to Avoid 'Mask Shaming' 24 May 2020, 6:51 pm
Charlamagne Tha God Reacts to Joe Biden’s ‘You Ain’t Black’ Apology 24 May 2020, 6:29 pm
MSNBC’s Joy Reid opened her interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Sunday morning by congratulating him on his interview this past week with former Vice President Joe Biden—even if all anyone wants to talk about are the final few seconds. Biden came under swift fire on Friday when he pushed back against the popular radio host’s suggestion that he might still have “questions” for the candidate before the 2020 election. “You’ve got more questions?” Biden asked. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”Shortly after that interview, Biden apologized for his remarks on a conference call with the Black Chamber of Commerce. Reid played Charlamagne a portion of his apology, in which Biden admonished himself for being “so cavalier” and said, “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”Asked if there’s a “risk” that Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole take the black vote for granted, Charlamagne said, “I know that's the attitude. That's why I don't ever care about the words and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda.”“They’ve got to make some real policy commitments to black people,” he continued. “We’ve got to stop acting like the fact that blacks are overrepresented in America when it comes to welfare, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction, crime, coronavirus—that’s no accident. The whole function of systemic racism is to marginalize black people.”‘Wise Guy’ Biden Apologizes for ‘You Ain’t Black’ GaffeOn one side, Charlamagne said he sees “whites telling us to stay in our place” and on the other, “black people saying, ‘Oh, stop, now is not the time, you're going to get Trump re-elected.’” He said, “It has to come to the point where we stop putting the burden on black voters and start putting the burden on Democrats to show up for black voters.” Charlamagne made clear both in his interview with Biden and on MSNBC Sunday morning that Biden picking a progressive black female running mate would go a long way towards demonstrating his commitment to that community. So Reid asked him what he will do if Biden picks someone like Amy Klobuchar instead.“On top of possible Russian interference and voter suppression, they have to worry about voter depression,” he replied. “And that’s people staying home on election day because they aren't enthused by the candidate. You can’t act like this is the most important election ever but run a campaign from your basement and not make some real policy commitments to the black community and not listen to some of the demands that the black community are making. I think people are sitting around hoping that Trump loses instead of going out there and actually beating him.” Joe Biden Shows Trump How to Grieve in Emotional ‘Colbert’ InterviewRead 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.
As nation approaches 100,000 dead, NY continues downtrend 24 May 2020, 6:24 pm
The daily coronavirus death toll increased slightly though the trend continues down, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. Cuomo said the state was now “decidedly in the reopening phase.” The latest tally from Cuomo came as the nation's death toll from the coronavirus was approaching 100,000 on the eve of Memorial Day.
Trump adviser compares China's handling of coronavirus to Chernobyl 24 May 2020, 5:51 pm
Americans pass pandemic holiday on beaches, in parks as death toll nears 100,000 24 May 2020, 5:43 pm
The Memorial Day weekend that signals the start of the U.S. summer is normally a time when cemeteries across the nation fill with American flags and ceremonies to remember those who died in U.S. wars. The New York Times filled its entire front page with the names and selected details of 1,000 victims on Sunday to try to capture the humanity of the lives lost.
Sir David Attenborough: 'Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages' 24 May 2020, 4:51 pm
Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has swept the problem of climate change from the front pages. The broadcaster and naturalist, who celebrated his 94th birthday in May, said the outbreak has made the issue feel as if it is in "the distant future". Appearing on the So Hot Right Now podcast, Sir David suggested the virus could make the world's nations see "survival depends on co-operation". He said: "The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we've got the virus to think about. "And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that's what I want to know about, too. "But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages. And we've got to get it back there."
Declining infection rate provides challenge for Oxford coronavirus vaccine 24 May 2020, 4:37 pm
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. But there's some cause for concern, The Telegraph reports.Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. That's not because the team no longer believes in its work, which is reportedly still going well. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy. "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time," Hill said.Hill only expects fewer than 50 of the 10,000 trial volunteers to catch the virus, which has faded since the U.K. and other countries implemented strict lockdowns, and if it turns out that fewer than 20 test positive, the study's results may be useless.The vaccine showed promise when it was tested in six rhesus macaque monkeys earlier this year, but it will obviously need to show that it provides the same protection in humans before it can be distributed.More stories from theweek.com There's always a bigger scandal How pandemics change society 17 extra-easy dessert recipes to make in quarantine
The Statue of Liberty as you've never seen her before 24 May 2020, 3:43 pm
With the monument currently closed due to COVID-19, this is the perfect time to experience a new virtual tour, featuring every nook-and-cranny of the statue's interior, including areas traditionally off-limits to visitors
Police say Dominic Cummings controversy will make lockdown impossible to enforce 24 May 2020, 2:43 pm
The police will no longer be able to enforce lockdown because Dominic Cummings’ actions have completely undermined their authority with the public, it was claimed last night. Senior policing figures and frontline officers said they feared people would no longer be willing to adhere to the Government’s guidance, making their job virtually impossible. Many senior officers had already admitted they were struggling to explain the rules to an increasingly confused public. But after the Prime Minister’s most senior aide travelled 260 miles from London to Durham to self-isolate at his parents’ home, one former Chief Constable said the Government’s guidelines were dead in the water. Mike Barton, the former Chief Constable of Durham Police, told the Telegraph: “How on earth are the police supposed to enforce the rules now? What has happened has completely holed the legislation that was introduced to keep people safe, below the waterline. It is dead in the water. “It was already difficult for the police to get right because there were these strident messages coming from the Government. In a few minor cases some forces made a few mistakes, but generally the public was very receptive to the message. That has now gone.” Brian Booth, West Yorkshire Police Federation Rep, also said enforcement would now become impossible. He said: “Throughout the lockdown the vast majority of the public have abided by the rules for the greater good. For many it has come at great personal sacrifice. “But when they see a senior government aide appearing to breach the lockdown what are they supposed to think? “It really does undermine what we are trying to achieve. We already have it hard with smart alecs who think they know the law better than us and this just plays into their hands. “It is not the Government who will be left picking up the pieces from this, but all the frontline officers who are trying to keep the public safe.”
Column: Trump doesn't like mail-in voting, but it's not his call 24 May 2020, 1:00 pm
'A wake-up call': How the pandemic has Native Americans turning to the earth 24 May 2020, 12:17 pm
Oxford scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine say there is now only a 50% chance of success because the number of UK cases is falling too quickly 24 May 2020, 12:08 pm
Letters to the Editor: Why is the Trump administration working so hard to deport immigrant children? 24 May 2020, 12:00 pm
Defiant protesters chanting 'liberate Hong Kong' flood the streets to oppose China's grab for control 24 May 2020, 11:36 am
New York Times devotes entire front page to names of coronavirus victims as death toll nears 100,000 24 May 2020, 10:40 am
The New York Times has identified the names of 1,000 people who have died from coronavirus during the global crisis as America’s death toll continues to soar to almost 100,000.America, where Covid-19 has claimed more lives than any other country in the world, is easing lockdown restrictions despite the fact experts have predicted such reopenings will lead to thousands of further deaths.
China exporters look inwards as virus hits overseas markets 24 May 2020, 6:48 am
Cancelled shipments, returned goods and a dearth of new orders have left China exporters in crisis as the coronavirus hits its trading partners worldwide -- accelerating a long-standing push towards domestic consumption. The push inwards comes from China's top echelons, with Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei saying Wednesday that China aims to "rapidly activate domestic demand" to make up for the external shortfall.
Taliban leverages pandemic to burnish image as violence in Afghanistan surges 24 May 2020, 1:14 am
Project leader: Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine trial has 50% chance of success - Telegraph 24 May 2020, 12:01 am
Adrian Hill, director of Oxford's Jenner Institute, which has teamed up with drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc to develop the vaccine, said that an upcoming trial, involving 10,000 volunteers, threatened to return "no result" due to low transmission of COVID-19 in the community. "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time", Hill told the British newspaper. The experimental vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is one of the front-runners in the global race to provide protection against the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former head of pandemic response team at the NSC speaks out: 'I'm frankly scared' 23 May 2020, 10:46 pm
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared.” She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
Is international travel allowed yet? See when Spain, Mexico, Iceland plan to reopen borders 23 May 2020, 9:34 pm
Navajo Nation enters 57-hour lockdown as virus death toll rises 23 May 2020, 8:04 pm
Two dead in severe storms in Carolinas; thousands without power 23 May 2020, 8:04 pm
Firefighters Battle Major Warehouse Fire on San Francisco's Famed Fisherman's Wharf 23 May 2020, 6:59 pm
Former head of pandemic response team speaks out: 'I'm frankly scared' 23 May 2020, 6:31 pm
A haunting image of a body abandoned in the street in coronavirus-racked Rio shows how Brazil's health system is struggling to cope 23 May 2020, 4:29 pm
Gaza reports 1st virus-related death amid fears of outbreak 23 May 2020, 4:25 pm
The crowded Gaza Strip recorded its first death from the coronavirus on Saturday, officials said, amid fears an outbreak could paralyze the territory's already overstretched health care system. The Palestinian health ministry said the deceased was a 77-year-old woman who had underlying health problems and had been placed at a special field hospital near the Rafah border crossing point upon arriving from Egypt. Gaza’s authorities, led by the militant group Hamas, reported 35 confirmed new cases this week, bringing the total to 55.
Suffolk County police set identify one of Gilgo Beach victims 23 May 2020, 4:13 pm
Missing Ohio high school senior Madison Bell found safe 23 May 2020, 3:22 pm
Madison “Maddie” Bell, 18, who had been missing since last Sunday, has been found safe, according to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday. She was last seen around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020, when she left her home in Greenfield, Ohio, to go tanning at the Country Corner Market over the county line in Highland County. But she never made it there. Her car was found nearby in the Good Shepherd Church parking lot with the windows rolled up. The keys were in the ignition an
Iranian fuel starts arriving in Venezuelan waters despite U.S. warning 23 May 2020, 2:47 pm
The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela entered the South American country's exclusive economic zone on Saturday, despite a U.S. official's warning that Washington was considering a response to the shipment. "The ships from the fraternal Islamic Republic of Iran are now in our exclusive economic zone," tweeted Tareck El Aissami, Venezuela's economy vice president and recently named oil minister. The defense minister had pledged that the military would escort the tankers once they reached Venezuela's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to what authorities described as threats from the United States.
Cyclone Amphan loss estimated at $13 billion in India, may rise in Bangladesh 23 May 2020, 12:45 pm
A powerful cyclone that tore through India's eastern state of West Bengal this week has caused a damage of 1 trillion rupees ($13 billion) to infrastructure and crops, state officials said. Neighbouring Bangladesh, which also fell in Cyclone Amphan's path on Wednesday, initially said it had suffered a loss of 11 billion taka ($130 million). More than 3 million people were evacuated before Amphan made landfall, preventing a large number of deaths.
Expletive-filled video of Bolsonaro swearing at cabinet meeting released by Brazil's Supreme Court 23 May 2020, 12:31 pm
Expletive-filled footage of Brazil’s far-right president complaining about not being able to get intelligence from the police has been released by the country’s Supreme Court.Jair Bolsonaro vows, in the clip, that he will not let his friends and family get “screwed” because he is unable to overhaul law enforcement officials.
'I couldn't see any people – just hear their screams': A survivor of the Pakistan plane crash gave a harrowing account of the disaster 23 May 2020, 12:26 pm
Biden strikes a populist tone but stops short of embracing Warren's economic plans 23 May 2020, 12:14 pm
Barack Obama poised to add his star appeal to Joe Biden's campaign 23 May 2020, 12:00 pm
The former president, the most popular politician in America with a huge social media following, can bolster the Democratic nominee with key groups and drive voter registrationFormer president Barack Obama has dipped his toes into the 2020 presidential campaign recently and is positioned to do more in the coming months as Joe Biden’s effort to defeat Donald Trump gathers steam.Interviews with about a dozen Democratic strategists, officials and people close to Obama indicated members of the party want the popular former president to use his powerful online presence and focus on rallying key Democrat constituencies that are critical to a Biden victory.Obama is regarded as one of the most popular figures in American politics and a huge asset within the Democratic party. He left the White House with a near-60% approval rating. His endorsement for any candidate is the political campaign equivalent of an oilman and hitting a gusher.Obama would be most effective, interviewees said, in highlighting his former vice-president’s résumé, rallying key Democratic groups like African American women, and pushing voters to register.The situation is unique. There hasn’t been a popular former two-term president eager to hit the trail for his former running mate for years. On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic limits in-person campaigning and rallies. Still, the strategists interviewed say Obama is valuable and should be used everywhere.“You rarely have a former president that is more popular than the now-sort-of-nominee,” Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher said. “Barack Obama is the most popular political figure in America right now.”Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to Obama during his time in the White House, said Obama is “committed to helping Vice-President Biden in any way the Biden campaign thinks is helpful. The pandemic is forcing everyone to be more creative since the conventional ways of doing business, including campaigning, are not possible.”Obama has a robust social media presence with millions of Twitter followers, and Jarrett pointed to Obama’s endorsement of Biden, which took the form of an online video now that campaign rallies have become a thing of the pre-pandemic past.“I think you can tell from the video that he rolled out with his endorsement, one very useful platform is President Obama’s social media platform where he has more followers than any other politician by far.”According to a Democratic strategist familiar with Obama’s thinking, the former president is eager to campaign for Democrats “up and down the ballot” in 2020. He plans to follow the lead of the Biden campaign as well as that of the main Democratic campaign arms – the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and other umbrella organizations.Obama was an active surrogate to boost Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections but since then has taken a more restrained approach to the national spotlight. He has only waded into current politics a few times and mostly on an indirect basis.Most recently, though, he delivered a commencement speech for college graduates where he said the coronavirus pandemic had “finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing”. Obama didn’t mention Trump by name but the speech was widely regarded as a direct allusion to the president. It could also herald what Obama’s public appearances in the final months of the 2020 presidential campaign would be like.Separately, during a closed event with thousands of supporters and Obama alumni, the former president warned that the justice department’s decision to drop charges against the former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn put the rule of law at risk.Campaign veterans and strategists say Obama is useful less as an attack dog going head to head with Trump and more as someone who highlights a positive vision of why voters should elect Biden.“To me, Obama is the world’s best character witness,” said Teddy Goff, who was digital director for Obama’s second presidential campaign. “Yeah, he can make the case that Trump is bad. He can certainly validate the case for Biden’s policies. But essentially he’s the most popular political figure on planet Earth and the one guy he entrusted with the single most important appointment of his life was Joe Biden.”But Obama could also persuade more people to vote.Meg Ansara, who was national regional director for Obama’s first presidential campaign and more recently battleground states director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said one of the key priorities, especially in this environment, is voter registration.“I think voter registration is a huge place,” Ansara said, adding that persuading undecided voters is important for someone like Obama as well. “I’m a big believer that you need to do both in the bulk of these battleground states.”There have been moments during the last three years when Democrats had wondered why Obama didn’t speak out more against Trump or weigh in more during the Democratic primary. That’s actually an asset now and adds weight to when Obama does speak out, said Guy Cecil, who runs the Priorities USA Super Pac.“I think in some respects the Biden campaign benefits from the fact that Obama has not spent three and a half years in the political limelight, attacking the president, attacking the administration, engaging in a back-and-forth with [Trump],” Cecil said. Corey Platt, a veteran Democratic strategist and campaign manager, said that Obama and Biden have done a good job of appearing together so far and he should keep doing that rather than just focusing on going head-to-head with Trump.“I think he if continues to remind people about competency and progress under his administration it will make people feel good about Biden, change and sanity. If he engages Trump I think that could backfire,” Platt said. “He can help articulate Biden’s vision for what happens next year and promote confidence in getting through this crisis together.”
Can I go to the beach? Or see a friend? How to ease back into everyday activities during the coronavirus pandemic 23 May 2020, 12:00 pm
As cities and states gradually lift coronavirus restrictions, many Americans are looking for safe ways to regain some sense of normalcy. In the first episode of "Fact vs. Fiction with Dr. Dara Kass," Yahoo News Medical Contributor Dr. Dara Kass explains which activities can be considered lower risk.
How the Restaurant Industry Viciously Exploits Its Workers, From Wage Theft to Sexual Abuse 23 May 2020, 11:08 am
For labor organizers working within the restaurant industry, there’s another NRA: the National Restaurant Association. This NRA “represent[s] and advocate[s] on behalf of more than 500,000 restaurant businesses,” including some of the biggest chains in the country. For decades, this has meant keeping tipped workers earning a minimum of $2.13 an hour in 43 states (in California, where I live, tipped workers must earn at least the state-wide minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $13.00 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees). During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many restaurant and cafe workers are realizing that they are much better off financially leaving their jobs and collecting unemployment insurance, there’s a renewed focus on how service work is systemically devalued in the U.S.The so-called logic behind this $2.13 tipped worker minimum wage is that tips will meet or exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and, legally speaking, when they don’t, employers must make up the difference. According to many employees in the industry, in practice, the latter almost never happens—the restaurant industry specifically is notorious for wage and tip theft. Throughout the U.S.—excluding West Coast states, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, and Alaska—if tips aren’t good or are nonexistent, good luck making rent. In director Abby Ginzberg’s documentary Waging Change, streamable on Women Make Movies from May 22 to May 31, the NRA’s machinations to keep the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour in as many states as possible is exposed for its strategic seediness. In a “Save Our Tips” campaign, the NRA funded an astroturf movement that convinced many restaurant workers that One Fair Wage legislation in Washington, D.C., would compromise their earnings—the idea being that if customers know servers and bartenders are earning the minimum wage or more, they will be less likely to tip or tip well. In fact, studies have shown that in cities where there is one minimum wage across all industries—and when that minimum wage is on the high end of the current spectrum—tipping is much better. White Anti-Quarantine Protesters Have Cruelly Co-opted an Enslaved Black Woman from the 18th CenturyThis Giant Monument to Elon Musk Has Tulsa Residents FuriousThere’s also a prevailing idea that most restaurants cannot afford to pay even the minimum wage, let alone a living wage, and if they did, they would have to lay off many workers. Waging Change goes to small, local restaurants around the country to show that living wage structures and even co-ops (in which the workers own the business) are possible and in fact can improve business. It’s also telling that many of the restaurants with the worst wages and practices are the huge chains, from IHOP to McDonald’s to TGI Friday’s. Even high-end restaurants that charge in the hundreds for a single meal have settled lawsuits for wage theft and other unfair labor practices. In many cases, the problem is at best incompetent management and at worst, greed. The One Fair Wage movement, which has been backed by bartender-turned-congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also aims to address the rampant sexual harassment and abuse that the tipped minimum wage structure doesn’t simply exacerbate, but provides the foundation for. If servers and bartenders have to make tips to make rent, then they’re especially vulnerable to abuse. According to 20 years of government data reported by BuzzFeed in 2017, more sexual harassment claims are filed in the restaurant industry than in any other industry. And according to a survey by Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC), the labor organization prominently featured in Waging Change, 60 percent of women report that they have experienced some form of sexual harassment on the job, and over half say they experience it on a daily basis. This same study also reports that “one-fifth of women working in the restaurant industry live below the poverty line, and nearly one-half (46%) live below twice the poverty line, compared to 40% of men in the restaurant industry and 20% of women in other industries.” One strategy proposed—beyond the organizing that restaurant workers do with ROC and other organizations to spur legislative change—is to vote with your wallet, to only patronize business that pay workers a living wage both in the front and back of house (racism in the restaurant industry is also rampant, with bussers, dishwashers, and prep cooks often being black and brown, and servers, hosts, and bartenders usually being white). But voting with your wallet often means relying on restaurant marketing to “know” who is treating their workers fairly; now that touting fair labor practices—like “sustainability” in the fashion industry—is trendy, it’s hard to know who is just talking the talk. In fact, supporting labor organizations, unions, and campaigns run by restaurant workers themselves is often the most direct way to either vote with your wallet or actions. (You’d also do well to tip in cash, a more reliable way to ensure your server and other workers in the restaurant actually get your tip, and quickly.)Waging Change addresses the curveball thrown by coronavirus on the gains made by the One Fair Wage and $15 minimum wage movements, since many restaurant workers have been furloughed or laid off due to restaurant shutdowns. The documentary points out that are relief funds for those workers ineligible for unemployment insurance (because, cruelly enough, they earn too little to qualify), and as inequity in the U.S. is sharply revealed through this crisis, workers are still protesting for fair wages, including hazard pay and sick leave.But what coronavirus has made clear is how unnecessary worker vulnerability is. In many other countries, robust social safety nets—with free health care, well-appointed public housing, free university, free childcare, and more—mean that even in hard times, workers can still pay the bills and businesses are more incentivized to provide good compensation and working conditions to retain staff (the reality, however, is usually much different for “unskilled” immigrant workers, who are not often provided social benefits no matter where they go). But in the U.S., where business lobbies like the other NRA hold enormous power and regular people are dependent on whatever wages these businesses decide to hand out—anything that might compromise this precarious arrangement, even when it’s as justified as public health protocol, compromises us. As a result, social welfare is looked down upon, and both local and federal governments typically do all they can to make those benefits hard to receive and insufficient for a decent quality of life. To wage change, we’ll also have to look beyond the wage itself. 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.
Turbulence, warnings before Pakistan plane crash killed 97 23 May 2020, 8:00 am
When the plane jolted violently, Mohammad Zubair thought it was turbulence. Moments later, the Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed into a crowded neighborhood near Karachi's international airport, killing 97 people, all of whom are believed to be passengers and crew members. Meeran Yousaf, the provincial Health Department spokeswoman, said only 21 of the bodies from Friday's crash have been identified and that most of the bodies were badly burned.