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Trump says a President Biden would get 'no ratings'

Trump says a President Biden would get 'no ratings'President Trump, whose halting leadership in the face of the coronavirus pandemic Americans increasingly question, boasted Monday about his one undisputed success: his ability to command media attention.

Parents of slain Atlanta girl plead for help to find killer

Parents of slain Atlanta girl plead for help to find killerThe parents of an 8-year-old Atlanta girl slain near the site of an earlier police killing pleaded for the public to help find whoever was responsible as their lawyers announced more reward money. ?Please don?t use the word snitch," the girl's father, Secoriey Williamson, said Monday, addressing anyone who might have leads. Total reward money now stands at $50,000, said one of the attorneys, Mawuli Davis.

Philippines to use police in house-to-house searches for COVID-19 cases

Philippines to use police in house-to-house searches for COVID-19 casesPhilippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown. Interior Minister Eduardo Ao urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment. The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.

I'm from Florida. Our coronavirus crisis doesn't surprise me

I'm from Florida. Our coronavirus crisis doesn't surprise me?America?s weirdest state? offers an extreme case of the country?s broader failure to take the pandemic seriouslyI have spent the past three months in my home state of Florida, during which time I?ve watched it become the hottest of coronavirus hotspots on the planet. This week began with the announcement that the state registered over 15,000 new infections in a single day, which was almost 3,000 more daily cases than any state previously had recorded since the pandemic began. If Florida was a country, according to Reuters, it would have the world?s fourth-highest tally of new Covid-19 cases over that 24-hour span, trailing only the US, Brazil and India.Florida has a well-deserved reputation as America?s weirdest state, so perhaps the pandemic punishment being meted out to us right now shouldn?t come as a shock. A 1948 Fortune magazine study observed: ?Florida is a study in abnormal psychology, useful in signaling the ? hidden derangements of the national mood.? A lot of bad trends in American life find their most bizarre and refined forms in the Sunshine state, which is why ?Florida Man? has become shorthand for the bad behavior of too many state residents. As far as the present pandemic is concerned, the simplest and most convincing explanation for why Florida is experiencing an explosion of Covid-19 cases it that it is an extreme case of the broader American failure to take the pandemic seriously.Considerable blame rests with the state?s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis. A former member of the House Freedom Caucus, the most slavishly pro-Trump faction in Congress, he won election as governor in 2018 largely on the strength of the president?s endorsement as well as campaign ads that showed him teaching his children how to build walls and recite ?Make America Great Again?.Unsurprisingly, he followed Trump?s lead in minimizing the seriousness of the pandemic. Florida was one of the last states to impose a stay-at-home order, in early April, and began reopening little more than a month later. A state data scientist responsible for tracking the spread of the virus was fired when, she claimed, she wouldn?t manipulate the data to show sufficient recovery from the pandemic to justify further easing of restrictions.Even now, DeSantis is aggressively pushing for schools to reopen next month, on the grounds that if big-box stores like Walmart and Home Depot can resume operations successfully, then so can schools. Teachers object that schools are smaller and more crowded spaces, and that few customers spend eight hours a day in the stores. But perhaps DeSantis is channeling the dystopian future vision of the film Idiocracy, in which higher education has been taken over by stores like Costco.DeSantis, to his credit, allowed some of the hardest-hit cities and counties to delay reopening and require masks in some public settings ? unlike the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona, who blocked any pandemic restrictions more stringent than those imposed by the state (both governors have backtracked). He also seems, in hindsight, to have been unfairly pilloried by the media for allowing beaches to stay open, in view of current opinions on the lower risk of outdoor transmission.> Florida?s subtropical climate is an irresistible inducement to hedonismIt?s also clear that Florida, like the country as a whole, failed to shut down to the extent and duration necessary to contain the spread of the virus, or to wear masks and practice social distancing to the extent that was routine in most societies where the virus was successfully brought under control. During the first two months I was down here, I rarely saw as many as half of the customers (and in some cases staff) in supermarkets and drugstores wearing masks. Groups of teenagers thronged the shopping malls as if the pandemic was a thing of the past.Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms, massage parlors, nail salons and a host of other transmission-friendly environments reopened in early June, with distancing restrictions more or less ignored. Floridians who chafed at weeks of restrictions made up for lost time by partying down with a kind of feral intensity, to judge by local social media, at any rate. Florida?s subtropical climate is an irresistible inducement to hedonism, and many of the young people who crowded into bars and nightclubs believed that they had nothing to fear from the virus. Health officials have linked more than 150 Covid-19 cases to a single bar in Orlando. (DeSantis subsequently banned on-premise alcohol consumption at establishments that derive more than half of their income from alcohol sales.)There could be some other factors peculiar to Florida that explain the virulence of the pandemic?s spread here. Partisanship is hard-edged here, and not wearing a mask has become a mark of Republican tribal identity. Many conservatives I know (particularly men) consider mask-wearing to be an infringement upon their constitutional freedom. Skepticism of science and experts, along with ingrained contrarianism ? some otherwise sane Floridians I know resolutely maintain that the virus is a hoax, or no worse than seasonal flu ? surely plays a role in some cases as well.The state government?s handling of the pandemic has proved shockingly inadequate, largely because the previous Republican administration sabotaged its institutional capacities. It took weeks and even months for laid-off Floridians to get unemployment relief, largely because the online system was designed to make it harder for workers to receive benefits so that the previous governor (now a senator), Rick Scott, could claim lower jobless numbers.Floridians historically have shown a ferocious individualism and an unwillingness to abide by state government restrictions. In addition, the severe economic damage inflicted by the shutdown surely has made people more willing to engage in magical thinking about how the dangers of the virus have been inflated by the media and the establishment, including the mistaken belief that hot weather prevents virus spread.> The inability of too many Floridians to distinguish between reality and fantasy is part of what?s frustrating about this placeTwo-thirds of Florida?s residents (and nearly all of its tourists) come here from somewhere else, which may cut against the collective sense of social responsibility that?s more widespread in more settled communities and societies. And masks are indeed uncomfortable in Florida?s heat and humidity, as visitors to a reopened Disney World are finding out.The pandemic laid bare the incompetence of the Trump administration, which took much too long to put widespread testing in place and has yet to implement contact tracing on the scale that?s needed. But the pandemic has also shown the weakness of America?s federal structure and its insufficient state capacity relative to other developed countries, where governments have implemented more uniform and effective national responses. Perhaps one of the pandemic?s legacies will be greater citizen insistence on competent government.I?ve spent most of my adult life outside Florida, but I share the affectionate exasperation that many Floridians feel for their state. It?s not like anywhere else, for both good and ill. The New York Times recently interviewed a couple who visited the reopened Disney World and shared their belief that the park?s reopening ?was the first thing that made us feel like we could leave our house and still feel safe?. Why? Because ?it?s Disney?. The inability of too many Floridians to distinguish between reality and fantasy is part of what?s frustrating about this place, but their irrepressible optimism makes me hope we will get through this pandemic without losing too many more of them.

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ?Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo?

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ?Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo?The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that ?the ?irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,? according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday.Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr?s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had ?stepped down? from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down.The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor?s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration?s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr?s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general?s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr?s handling of the process.Trump Thought He?d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.?Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?? Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). ?Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor???Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,? Berman said later. ?I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.? At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr?s wish to install Carpenito?who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey?in the job instead of Berman?s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post.Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers?to head the Department of Justice?s civil rights division and, later, the SEC?but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired.?I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,? Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job?if there was any ?quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.?Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations?Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes?in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr?s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.?You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,? said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn?t his term but reiterated that ?it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.? Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman?s ouster.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.

64 Stunning Kitchen Island Ideas

US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashes at New Mexico base, marking service's fifth fighter jet crash since May

US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashes at New Mexico base, marking service's fifth fighter jet crash since MayThe pilot was able to eject safely and is being treated for minor injuries, the base said Monday evening.

St Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters 'almost always in conflict with others', report says

St Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters 'almost always in conflict with others', report saysThe white couple who were photographed pointing guns at protesters in St Louis, have been revealed to have had several conflicts over their property in recent years, from a number of lawsuits to the smashing of children?s beehives.Personal-injury attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey were seen standing outside their home holding a handgun and a rifle at Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters who were walking down their street on 28 June.

Remains of Aztec palace, house built by Hernn Corts found near Mexico City plaza

Remains of Aztec palace, house built by Hernn Corts found near Mexico City plazaMexican officials said the remains of the Aztec palace and house built by Hernn Corts were found near the Plaza del Zcalo.

Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus

Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus?The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,? wrote game show host Chuck Woolery in a tweet promoted by the president.

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