Trump squirms in TV spotlight as voters pin him down on Covid, health and race

In a rare excursion outside the friendly media bubble of Fox News on Tuesday night, Donald Trump took questions directly from uncommitted American voters at a televised “town hall” type event, in an experiment his campaign might not be in a hurry to repeat. Under sometimes aggressive questioning from ordinary members of the voting public about healthcare, immigration and the coronavirus, Trump at times twisted in the spotlight, narrowing his eyes at a question about the “race problem in America” and trying to interrupt another voter’s question about health insurance. But the voter shut the president down. “Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,” said the questioner, Ellesia Blaque, a professor from Philadelphia who explained that as a Black woman with a pre-existing health condition, “I’m minimized and not taken seriously.” Trump looked away sourly, but did not try to interrupt again. Political analysts could not look away …

‘No one cares’: Pandemic exacerbates strain on Gaza Strip’s densely packed communities

Effectively, they have lived under lockdown for years. The 2 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip have their movement restricted by Israel to the north and Egypt to the south. Both have cited security concerns over the leadership controlled by Hamas. Still, the coronavirus broke through, and as of Friday, the Ministry of Health has reported 1,631 COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths. Of those, only 115 infections and one death were in quarantine facilities. The rest were in the densely packed communities in the blockaded territory. An outbreak could be devastating in the crowded, impoverished area, which only has 97 intensive care unit beds and ventilators, according to the charity Oxfam. “We work under very stressful conditions,” Dr. Mohamad Asfour told NBC News earlier this month at the European Hospital, where he is working to treat people with the virus. Temperatures hit 90 F before he puts on his …

Netflix’s Reed Hastings on Rejecting Brilliant Jerks, the Power of Big Vacations, and Spending $15 Billion on Content

  The pandemic has exacerbated the winner-take-all economy, and Netflix has been a prime beneficiary of the global lockdown. Before the recent tech-stock rout, the company’s stock price had increased by roughly 40% since March, to the mid-$550s, and its market cap of $242 billion briefly exceeded that of the Walt Disney Co., which is no Mickey Mouse operation and has far more in the way of concrete assets and IP. Membership has also increased dramatically for the global streaming service. The company now has 193 million subscribers in 190 countries. So, how do you get to be like Netflix? In a new book, No Rules Rules, company co-founder Reed Hastings (with co-author Erin Meyer) lays out his management philosophy, which includes paying talent top dollar—while steering clear of brilliant jerks—pumping up candor and taking lots of vacations. Hastings, 59, a former Peace Corps volunteer, acknowledges that his approach is …

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 …

10,000 women march to demand that Belarus president resign

About 10,000 women have marched noisily through the Belarusian capital, beating pots and pans and shouting for the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president in the 35th consecutive day of large protests By YURAS KARMANAU Associated Press September 12, 2020, 7:36 PM • 3 min read KYIV, Ukraine — About 10,000 women marched noisily through the Belarusian capital on Saturday, beating pots and pans and shouting for the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president in the 35th consecutive day of large anti-government protests. Many carried portraits of Maria Kolesnikova, a leader of the opposition Coordination Council that is seeking a new presidential election for the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million people. She was jailed this week after police tried to force her out of the country. Her lawyer says Kolesnikova was driven to the border with Ukraine, but tore up her passport and refused to leave Belarus. Others carried placards …

Afghan peace talks open in Doha, 19 years after 9/11 triggered war

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani attend the signing of a US-Taliban agreement in the Qatari capital Doha on February 29, 2020. – Washington and the Taliban are set to sign a landmark deal in Doha that would see them agree to the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan in return for insurgent guarantees. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images The opening ceremony for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents began in Qatar’s capital Doha on Saturday, marking the start of negotiations aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. The 19-year conflict is also the United States’ longest overseas military action, vexing three successive presidents. The ceremony began at 9 a.m. (0600 GMT) with a recitation from the Koran, followed by opening comments by …

Feds seek halt to civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell

To continue “would adversely affect” the criminal prosecution, they argued. September 10, 2020, 8:47 PM • 8 min read Federal prosecutors pursuing the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell in New York are asking a judge to temporarily halt proceedings in a civil lawsuit filed by an alleged child sex-abuse victim against Maxwell and the estate of the late sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein, arguing that there is a “significant risk” that proceeding with the case “would adversely affect the ongoing criminal prosecution against Maxwell.” In a letter posted to the court docket of the civil case this week, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York asserted that there is a “factual overlap between the civil and criminal cases” that could result in premature disclosure of evidence and testimony from witnesses who may be called upon in both cases. “Such witnesses may be forced to testify about any efforts to assist the …

How to keep the police from killing more mentally ill people

The police chief and the entire command staff of the Rochester, New York, force resigned Tuesday amid outrage at the killing of Daniel Prude after a police encounter in March. Last week, police body camera video became available showing Prude, while he was in the midst of a psychiatric emergency, in a “spit hood” the police had put on him to guard against the coronavirus, limiting his ability to breathe and apparently leading to his death. For people in mental health emergencies who are already feeling inordinate amounts of confusion, stress and anxiety, police on the scene are often not a solution but a problem. Tragically, the death of a person with mental illness during a police encounter is far from rare. Last month, Damian Daniels, a military veteran who was experiencing mental distress, was killed in a tragic confrontation with San Antonio police. In June, George Zapantis, a man …

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 …

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, …

You’re Not Imagining It: Trump Books Are Coming Out at a Rapid Clip

If you feel like you can’t keep up with all of the bombshell books about President Donald Trump and his Administration, you’re not alone. In terms of raw numbers, there’s been an average of roughly one book about Trump and his inner circle released every single day for the last 188 weeks. Last week, we had a tell-all from a former friend and aide to First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Today, we have former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s searing account of the dastardly deeds he undertook on behalf of his former pal. And next week, we’ll have the second Trump-era tome of master Washington insider Bob Woodward. All three are on Amazon’s bestseller list. Among the site’s top 25 books of all varieties, seven are Trump related. The sheer volume of books about an incumbent administration is at a pace twice as fast as we saw at this …

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 …

Manchester bomber was seen ‘praying’ at venue before attack

The Manchester Arena bomber was spotted “praying” at the venue 50 minutes before he carried out the attack and asked what he had in his rucksack, the inquiry into the bombing has heard. It was one of two possible “missed opportunities” to stop Salman Abedi in the hour before the bombing on 22 May 2017, the public inquiry into the attacks heard. Opening the inquiry on Monday, its chairman stressed he was “not looking for scapegoats” but searching for the truth about how Salman Abedi planned and executed the suicide attack, which killed 22 people and injured a further 260. The inquiry, which is being heard in a modified court room at Manchester magistrates court, could not begin until Abedi’s younger brother, Hashem, was tried and convicted of helping to plan the attacks, after being extradited from Libya last year. He was sentenced to at least 55 years in prison …

Hall of Fame outfielder, speedster Brock dies at age 81

NEW YORK — Hall of Famer Lou Brock, one of baseball’s signature leadoff hitters and base stealers who helped the St. Louis Cardinals win three pennants and two World Series in the 1960s, has died. He was 81. Dick Zitzmann, Brock’s longtime agent and friend, confirmed Brock’s death Sunday, but he said he couldn’t provide any details. The Cardinals and Cubs also observed a moment of silence in the outfielder’s memory before their game at Wrigley Field. Brock lost a leg from diabetes in recent years and was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. “Lou Brock was one of the most revered members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization and one of the very best to ever wear the Birds on the Bat,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a release. “He will be deeply missed and forever remembered.” The man later nicknamed the Running Redbird and the Base Burglar …

‘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 …

Closeted Hasidic trans woman inches closer to her ‘feminine dream’

Rivky strolled through the Zara store in Manhattan’s fashionable SoHo neighborhood, one eye examining the racks of skirts and blouses and the other looking out for anyone she might know. She was looking for something that would fit her broad frame. Rivky made her way to the women’s dressing room line, dresses and skirts piled on her forearms. The female attendant looked confused and then chuckled. Why was this male-presenting person — wearing traditional Hasidic Jewish men’s attire — walking into the fitting room with women’s clothing? Rivky, 41, is not your typical gender-conforming religious observer. Her white dress shirt, black vest and black slacks — the daily dress code for Hasidic men — serve as culturally acceptable covers for the bra and women’s underwear she frequently wears underneath. She feels her best when dressed in women’s attire, and at home she regularly strips down to just a bra, panties …

First Clone of Endangered Przewalski’s Horse Born in Conservation Effort to Save the Species

The first successfully cloned endangered Przewalski’s horse was born on Aug. 6 in a veterinary facility in Texas, San Diego Zoo Global announced on Friday. The horse was cloned from DNA of a male Przewalski’s horse cryopreserved by the zoo in 1980. Przewalski’s horses are “critically endangered” animals that are found in Mongolia, per Smithsonian’s National Zoo. They’re considered the last species of “truly wild horses” and are “distant cousins” of modern day domestic horses, having likely split from a common ancestor around 500,000 years ago, per the Smithsonian. Przewalski’s horses were once extinct in the wild, and while intensive breeding programs helped revive the species and reintroduce them into the grasslands of China and Mongolia, nearly all can be traced back to 12 Przewalski’s horses that were born in the wild, the San Diego Zoo said in its press release. The successful cloning of DNA collected 40 years is …

Drugmakers seek to reassure public on coronavirus vaccine as concerns grow about political pressure

Lisa Taylor receives a COVID-19 vaccination from RN Jose Muniz as she takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle | Getty Images A group of drugmakers competing to bring a coronavirus vaccine to market plan to issue a public statement as soon as next week that says they will not seek government approval until enough data has been collected to ensure the drugs are safe and effective, CNBC confirmed Saturday. An early draft of the joint statement promises to prioritize the safety of vaccinated people, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the plans to issue a statement. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are expected to participate in the pledge, the Journal reported. CNBC has confirmed that Sanofi also plans to participate. The pledge comes as scientists and public health specialists express concern that the Trump …