Top White House aide’s interview goes haywire over Trump coronavirus remarks

An interview with top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday went off the rails after he was pressed about revelations last week that President Donald Trump intentionally downplayed coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic. Clashing with host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Navarro’s interview cut out as the two men began shouting over one another. Tapper confronted Navarro about Trump’s tape-recorded comments in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” set to be released this week. In it, Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call that coronavirus “is deadly stuff” and worse than the flu. After that conversation, though, Trump publicly downplayed the virus and repeatedly compared it to the flu. “In February, nobody knew,” Navarro said of the novel coronavirus’ potential impact, despite Trump’s comments to Woodward, which were taped. “No, nobody knew. Not the president, not you, not Nancy Pelosi, …

North and South Dakota Lead in U.S. COVID-19 Growth as Both States Reject Mask Requirements

(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) — Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, fueling impassioned debates over masks and personal freedom after months in which the two states avoided the worst of the pandemic. The argument over masks raged this week in Brookings, South Dakota, as the city council considered requiring face coverings in businesses. The city was forced to move its meeting to a local arena to accommodate intense interest, with many citizens speaking against it, before the mask requirement ultimately passed. Amid the brute force of the pandemic, health experts warn that the infections must be contained before care systems are overwhelmed. North Dakota and South Dakota lead the country in new cases per capita over the last two weeks, ranking first and second respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. South Dakota has also posted some of the country’s highest positivity rates …

Charlottesville Removes Confederate Statue Near Deadly ‘Unite the Right’ Rally Site

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A crowd cheered Saturday as workers in Charlottesville removed a Confederate statue near the site of a violent white nationalist rally three years ago. The removal of a bronze figure of a Confederate soldier known as “At Ready” is seen in Charlottesville as a milestone in eliminating divisive symbols of the Civil War. The Washington Post reports that the process of removing the statue began Saturday morning as workers affixed straps to the 900-pound statute to prepare to remove it from its base. A crowd of about 100 people cheered behind metal barricades as the figure was lifted from its pedestal and lowered to the ground. The statue has been outside the Albermarle County courthouse for 111 years. Members of the crowd all wore masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some wore blue Union Civil War caps and danced to music broadcast by a local radio station. The …

Crowds rally in New Zealand’s Auckland against coronavirus lockdown

People wait for a walk-up Covid-19 test on August 14, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Covid-19 restrictions have been reintroduced across New Zealand. Fiona Goodall | Getty Images News | Getty Images Large crowds of people rallied in Auckland on Saturday against the government’s social distancing restrictions imposed on the country’s largest city after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus last month.  Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people. “We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights,” the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organizers of the protest, as saying. “We’re all here today because we believe it’s time to stand up and say, ‘We need to get our rights and freedoms back’.” …

Kool & the Gang Co-Founder Ronald ‘Khalis’ Bell Dies at 68

(LOS ANGELES) — Ronald “Khalis” Bell, a co-founder, singer and producer of the group Kool & the Gang, has died. He was 68. Bell died at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday morning with his wife by his side, publicist Sujata Murthy said. The cause of death has not been released. Kool & the Gang grew from jazz roots in the 1960s to become one of the major groups of the 1970s, blending jazz, funk, R&B and pop. After a brief downturn, the group enjoyed a return to stardom in the ’80s. Bell started the group with his brother Robert “Kool” Bell along with neighborhood friends Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West. Kool & the Gang won a Grammy in 1978 for their work on the soundtrack for “Saturday Night Fever.” The group was honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime …

President Trump Says He Deliberately Played Down Danger of Coronavirus

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump talked in private about the “deadly” coronavirus last February, even as he was declaring to America it was no worse than the flu and insisting it was under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward. Trump said Wednesday he was just being a “cheerleader” for the nation and trying to keep everyone calm. His public rhetoric, Trump told Woodward in March, was part of a strategy to deliberately minimize the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” Trump, according to the book, acknowledged being alarmed by the virus, even as he was telling the nation that it would swiftly disappear. Coming less than eight weeks before Election Day, the revelations in the book — accompanied by recordings Woodward made of his interviews with Trump …

U.S. Crime Victims Often Don’t Get the Government Money Meant to Help Them Heal—and Say They Feel ‘Excluded’

Aswad Thomas’ dream of pursuing a career in basketball was disrupted about a decade ago when he was shot twice in the back during an attempted armed robbery in Connecticut. In the following years, Thomas—like many other victims of violent crime—didn’t know that Congress had set aside money and resources for his recovery decades ago. Had Thomas known, the 37-year-old says he would have been better able to deal with the injury as well as his PTSD by tapping into counseling services, physical therapy and relocation support. “I was shot just blocks away from where I live so the fear of going outside was something I struggled with for years,” Thomas says. “I would have loved physical therapy to help me get back on my feet and see if I could continue my basketball career.” Thomas was 26 when he was shot, just three months after he became a first-generation …

Biden to visit Michigan as fallout from Cohen’s book on Trump continues – live

  Michigan Republicans are offering some counter-programming to Joe Biden’s visit today, holding a media call before the Democrat’s speech in Warren. David Eggert (@DavidEggert00) Michigan GOP chair Cox, Rep. Moolenaar, Walberg holding media call before Biden’s visit. Emphasizing Trump’s USMCA trade deal, funding for Soo Locks project, pre-pandemic economic record, virus relief aid. ‘President Trump has delivered on what he said he would do.’ – Walberg September 9, 2020 Congressman Tim Walberg, who represents part of southern Michigan, said during the call that Trump “has delivered on what he said he would do.” In reality, the president has broken about half of the promises he has made to the American people, according to Politifact. Despite that fact, Trump will likely deliver a similar message tomorrow, when he gives a campaign speech in Freeland, Michigan. 9.38am EDT 09:38 Biden’s Michigan visit marks new stage of presidential campaign This is Joan …

Search continues for woman last seen leaving Super 8 hotel in Grants Pass, Oregon

Fauna Frey has been missing since the end of June and her family and friends tell Dateline they are growing increasingly worried with each day that passes. “I’ve searched half the state of Oregon,” Fauna’s distraught father, John Frey, told Dateline. “We’re at a standstill and don’t know where to go from here. We just want her home safe.” Fauna, 45, is John’s last surviving child. Her sister passed away in 2006, just two years after their mother. Fauna’s older brother, Dallas, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on June 19. It was Fauna who found his body. “She was still really distraught about losing her brother,” John said. “She had been through so much. We all have.” Fauna had been temporarily living in Dexter, Oregon, with her father and brother. Together, they all run a family business that builds and sells homes. John told Dateline that on June 27, …

Rochester Police Leaders Retire After Protests Over the Suffocation Death of Daniel Prude

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — Top police leaders in New York’s third-largest city are retiring en masse amid criticism of the city’s handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude, the mayor of Rochester said Tuesday. La’Ron Singletary, the city’s police chief, is among those retiring, as is Deputy Chief Joseph M. Morabito and possibly other senior commanders, Mayor Lovely Warren said. Warren made the surprise announcement of the retirements at a City Council briefing being held online. Council members had expected the chief to appear in person to discuss ongoing protests over the death of Prude, a 41-year-old Black man who died several days after an encounter with police March 23. “As you all know, this has been a very challenging time for the city of Rochester, and the chief was not asked to give his resignation because I do believe that he’s giving his very best,” Warren told council members. …

Watch a Florida School Counselor Discuss Returning to School During the Pandemic

Florida school counselor Stacey King was “really, really scared” about returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic, she tells Katie Couric in a video series produced with TIME. King, a counselor at the Sanibel School, a small public school in Sanibel, Fla., is now working with about half her students in person, while the rest learn from home. For those at school, that means a combination of hand sanitizer, plexiglass desk dividers and masks. “It’s very different to be in front of a classroom of kids, and all you can see are their eyes,” King says. “It has been a challenge.” Teachers across the country have been adapting to an unprecedented school year, as districts bring students back to classrooms, continue with months of more remote learning or develop a mix of in-person and virtual instruction. Many teachers have raised concerns about whether it’s safe to return yet, leading to …

When will tourists return to Africa? Continent must guess

Africa’s tourism sector is struggling to cope with the drop in international travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic By GERALD IMRAY Associated Press September 8, 2020, 9:35 AM • 5 min read CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Raino Bolz quickly diversified when his tourism business in South Africa’s winelands crashed to a halt in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. He sold a minibus — useless without tourists to ferry around — and bought a herd of pregnant cows. He’ll have to wait for the cows to have calves and for the calves to be old enough to sell before he can make money from them. That probably won’t be until early next year, but it’s his insurance policy. Bolz hopes to see a return of some tourists in November, the start of South Africa’s tourism season. If foreign visitors — 80% of his income — don’t arrive for end-of-year …

As virus cases drop, governors may gamble on bars. Again.

As the number of coronavirus cases fall in the U.S., governors in hard-hit states are rethinking lockdown orders on bars By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press September 7, 2020, 12:11 AM • 5 min read AUSTIN, Texas — A guy walks into a bar, which still isn’t allowed in Texas. But Jeff Brightwell owns this bar. Two months into an indefinite shutdown, he’s just checking on the place — the tables six feet apart, the “Covid 19 House Rules” sign instructing drinkers not to mingle. All the safeguards that didn’t keep the doors open because Dot’s Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard is a bar under Texas law. And bars, in a pandemic? “Really not good,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s infectious disease expert, told Congress in June. But some governors are warming up to good enough. Thousands of bars forced to close after massive virus outbreaks swept across the U.S. …

‘Class Action Park’ made me understand my Gen X mom’s worries — and her teen years

Growing up in Las Vegas in the early aughts, the only option for a summer outing that wasn’t in a casino was what my family dubbed the “Fun Pool” — a simple community recreational pool. There, flotation devices were required, lifeguards kept watchful eyes at every angle and the worst “injury” you could get was chlorine in your eye. But once my younger brother and I got a little older, we began to spend part of our summer vacation with our mother in her hometown of Pittsburgh — which was a lot more exciting for us because it came with a small taste of the same freedom she’d had as a kid. We could walk to the 7-Eleven without parental supervision; there wasn’t a curfew when spending time with friends down the street. Yet, when it came to the local water parks, she was as cautious with us as though …

Hurricane Laura Death Toll in Louisiana Rises to 25

(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Two additional deaths tied to Hurricane Laura were reported Saturday by the Louisiana Department of Health, bringing the storm’s total death toll in the state to 25. The Health Department said a 52-year-old Grant Parish man who died of a heat-related illness while removing storm debris and a 25-year-old man in Natchitoches Parish died of electrocution after coming into direct contact with a power line. The Health Department said he was resuscitated at the time but later died. The coroner has confirmed this death is storm-related. The Category 4 storm roared ashore in southwest Louisiana on Aug. 27. The death toll in Louisiana stands at 25, according to the state Health Department. Five deaths in Texas were also attributed to the storm. Hurricane Laura also killed nearly two dozen people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic en route to the U.S. Gulf Coast.   Read the …

Northeastern University Dismisses 11 Students, Without Returning Their $36,500 Tuition Fees, for Violating COVID-19 Rules

Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students for violating social distancing rules, but held on to their tuition payments. The Boston university dismissed the students after two staff members from their program caught them gathering at the Westin Hotel, which is being used as university housing during the pandemic, the school said on Friday. The Boston Globe reported the university will not return a $36,500 fee the students each pre-paid to take part in the semester-long N.U.in Program, an international study experience that now has a location in Boston due to COVID-19. However, the students will still be permitted to officially enroll as freshmen this January, the university told TIME. “The students have been informed that they are no longer part of the Northeastern community for the fall semester. They have the right to contest their dismissal at an expedited hearing,” the university said in a statement. The students were told …

Tesla falls after S&P 500 adds Etsy and two others, bypassing carmaker

SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, March 2, 2019. Mike Blake | Reuters Shares of Tesla dropped more than 7% after hours on Friday after the S&P 500 Index Committee decided to move Etsy, Teradyne and Catalent into the S&P 500, but abstained from including Elon Musk’s electric vehicle and solar energy company. By contrast, shares of Etsy, an e-commerce marketplace for artisans, rose more than 5% on news of its inclusion.  Some Tesla investors expected the company to be included this quarter, as the company reported its fourth consecutive quarter of profitability in July.  According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, there’s over $11.2 trillion in assets benchmarked to the S&P 500, with roughly …

Are aliens hiding in plain sight?

In July, three unmanned missions blasted off to Mars – from China (Tianwen-1), the US (Nasa’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover) and the United Arab Emirates (Hope). The Chinese and American missions have lander craft that will seek signs of current or past life on Mars. Nasa is also planning to send its Europa Clipper probe to survey Jupiter’s moon Europa, and the robotic lander Dragonfly to Saturn’s moon Titan. Both moons are widely thought to be promising hunting grounds for life in our solar system – as are the underground oceans of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Meanwhile, we can now glimpse the chemical makeup of atmospheres of planets that orbit other stars (exoplanets), of which more than 4,000 are now known. Some hope these studies might disclose possible signatures of life. But can any of these searches do their job properly unless we have a clear idea of what “life” …

Summer camp that held off COVID-19 opens fall camp for remote learning

As the school year begins under the cloud of COVID-19 that has closed many schools across the country, students and parents have struggled to cope with remote learning. One summer camp in northern Wisconsin has an innovative solution: fall camp. North Star Camp for Boys was one of the very few sleepaway camps in the country to successfully open and operate a full two-month summer program, doing so without a single COVID-19 case. It did it by creating a “bubble” for all campers and staff with regular testing and tough, strictly enforced COVID-19 protocols. Summer is over, but owner and director Andy Shlensky is creating that same bubble for the first six weeks of the school year. “The idea is, rather than getting stuck in your basement, doing remote schooling and having the option to go from your Google classroom to your Netflix to your Fortnite, we will provide a …

The Ocean Farmers Trying to Save the World With Seaweed

In a cove in Bamfield, a coastal community in British Columbia, Canada, Louis Druehl steers his boat, The Kelp Express, a mile along the mountainous coastline. For 51 years, this boat has taken Druehl to the fortuitously named Kelp Bay where beneath the water’s surface ropes of seaweed that Druehl has been carefully harvesting for decades dangle in the cold Pacific water. Referred to by some as the “seaweed guru”—by others, as the “kelp grandfather”—Druehl, 84, was the first commercial seaweed operator in North America when he began growing kelp, a brown seaweed, in 1982. Seaweed is his life: he has studied it, farmed it, cooked it, and written an award winning, bestselling book about it. Over the years, Druehl has watched interest in seaweed come and go. But now, as climate change wreaks havoc on ecosystems across the planet, the world is turning to seaweed as a potential climate …