stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back.

    The CIA sent a team of 4 operators on a spy mission targeting China. None came back.In 2008, CIA operative Stephen Stanek faced a decision: cancel the operation he was running or go forward with it — as a hurricane barreled through the Philippines with a projection to veer north and miss his team's area of operation.


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  • Whose voters are 'hidden' in polling data? 'Shy' Biden voters may actually outnumber Trump’s

    Whose voters are 'hidden' in polling data? 'Shy' Biden voters may actually outnumber Trump’sJust 20 percent of Trump voters with mostly Biden-backing neighbors say those neighbors would be surprised by their support for Trump. Among Biden voters in Trump country, however, that number is 10 points higher (30 percent).


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  • Texas police officer charged in death of Pamela Turner, a Black woman whose killing was captured on video

    Texas police officer charged in death of Pamela Turner, a Black woman whose killing was captured on videoA Texas police officer was indicted this week in the death of Pamela Turner, a Black woman who was killed outside her apartment more than a year ago.


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  • Beta spurs hurricane watch for Texas, expected to strengthen

    Beta spurs hurricane watch for Texas, expected to strengthenAn exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season was churning along Saturday as the Texas coast prepared for a tropical storm that's forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before breaching its shores in the week ahead. Tropical Storm Beta was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, 305 miles (495 kilometers) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and 245 miles (395 kilometers) south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. The system was forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday and triggered a tropical storm warning from Port Aransas, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.


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  • Boater rescues man stranded under bridge: 'He was out there all night in just shorts'

    Boater rescues man stranded under bridge: 'He was out there all night in just shorts'A community of residents, living on boats, in condos or stilted homes, were taken by surprise when Hurricane Sally blew through as a Category 2 storm.


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  • Measures to control coronavirus have brought flu infections to 'historic lows.' Scientists want to keep it that way.

    Measures to control coronavirus have brought flu infections to 'historic lows.' Scientists want to keep it that way.Lockdowns and protective measures like the widespread wearing of face masks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have driven influenza infections to record lows, according to a new CDC study.


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  • A California family is accusing Kamala Harris and Gov. Gavin Newsom of trespassing on their wildfire-ravaged property for a photo op

    A California family is accusing Kamala Harris and Gov. Gavin Newsom of trespassing on their wildfire-ravaged property for a photo opTrampas and Bailee Patten accused Newsom and Harris of taking photos at their parents' destroyed home for "political gain."


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  • American Airlines CEO says hundreds of thousands will lose their jobs without additional emergency aid

    American Airlines CEO says hundreds of thousands will lose their jobs without additional emergency aid“It’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to our country," Doug Parker said about the upcoming mass layoffs in the airline sector.


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  • Gov. Huckabee reacts to Biden saying Trump could have prevented all virus deaths: ‘Outrageous’

    Gov. Huckabee reacts to Biden saying Trump could have prevented all virus deaths: ‘Outrageous’Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is accused of exaggerating his pandemic record during his town hall; reaction and analysis from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on “America’s Newsroom.”


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  • Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist

    Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activistEthiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general's office said on Saturday. Jawar, founder of the Oromiya Media Network and a member of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, was arrested in June amid the widespread unrest that followed the assassination of popular Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.


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  • As Trump courts Black voters, critics see a 'depression strategy'

    As Trump courts Black voters, critics see a 'depression strategy'While the president’s team touts its efforts to court a community that Republicans have long ignored, critics describe them as part of a cynical “depression strategy” designed to minimize Black American turnout.


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  • Mass suspension of German police officers who shared pictures of Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambers

    Mass suspension of German police officers who shared pictures of Hitler and doctored images of refugees in gas chambersThe officers allegedly shared extremist content in chatrooms and WhatsApp groups. Some face charges of spreading Nazi propaganda and hate speech.


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  • Firefighter dies battling blaze, another fire burns homes

    Firefighter dies battling blaze, another fire burns homesThe death of a firefighter on the lines of a wildfire east of Los Angeles was under investigation Friday as another blaze to the north burned homes in a small community on the edge of the Mojave Desert. The death occurred Thursday in San Bernardino National Forest as crews battled the El Dorado Fire about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of LA, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement. The fire erupted earlier this month from a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said.


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  • Southern California jolted by magnitude 4.5 earthquake, another worry after raging wildfires

    Southern California jolted by magnitude 4.5 earthquake, another worry after raging wildfiresIn a region already reeling from wildfires and smoke-filled skies, a magnitude 4.6 earthquake jolted Southern California.


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  • New Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Only 22% of Americans think the 2020 presidential election will be 'free and fair'

    New Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Only 22% of Americans think the 2020 presidential election will be 'free and fair'Both Republicans and Democrats harbor grave and growing doubts about whether the upcoming election will accurately reflect the will of the people. 


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  • Kamala Harris accused of trespassing on fire-ravaged California property for photo-op by family

    Kamala Harris accused of trespassing on fire-ravaged California property for photo-op by familyResidents not yet allowed to return to survey damaged homes


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  • Giuliani associates face new federal fraud charges

    Giuliani associates face new federal fraud chargesFederal prosecutors brought new wire fraud charges Thursday against an associate of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who was involved in attempts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Lev Parnas and his business partner, David Correia, were charged with defrauding investors in a business called Fraud Guarantee. A superseding indictment also charged them with additional campaign finance violations.


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  • Former zookeeper stole two penguins during night-time break in, court hears

    Former zookeeper stole two penguins during night-time break in, court hearsA former zookeeper stole two penguins during a night-time raid in order to sell them, a court heard. Bradley Tomes, 25, purloined a total of £25,000 worth of rare birds from the South Lakes Safari in Cumbria, where he used to work. South Cumbria Magistrates court heard that Tomes had cut a hole in the perimeter fence of an aviary where he used to work to steal 12 spoonbill birds in July 2018, before abducting the penguins and three macaws 3 months later. But he was rumbled after he sold the two tiny Humboldt penguins, named Pablo and Penny, on Facebook to animal rescuer Reece Oliver, who became suspicious.


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  • India arrests nine al Qaeda militants planning 'terrorist attacks'

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  • Woodward says Trump has 'lost his way, not just as a president but as a human being'

    Woodward says Trump has 'lost his way, not just as a president but as a human being'In a wide-ranging live interview on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast Thursday, the “Rage” author said the president does not have the capacity “to assess what's real and what's unreal.”


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  • Tesla driver charged for appearing to be asleep with the seat fully reclined while traveling at over 86 mph

    Tesla driver charged for appearing to be asleep with the seat fully reclined while traveling at over 86 mphCanadian authorities said the man was going over 86 mph before being stopped, where police discovered fully reclined seats.


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  • Nashville mayor hiding coronavirus data is ‘lack of leadership problem’: Council Member

    Nashville mayor hiding coronavirus data is ‘lack of leadership problem’: Council MemberNashville Council Member Steve Glover on accusations that the mayor of Nashville tried to hide statistics regarding coronavirus cases in the city’s bars and restaurants.


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  • Seven dead, dozens infected after 'superspreader' wedding in rural US

    Seven dead, dozens infected after 'superspreader' wedding in rural USA wedding in rural Maine became a coronavirus "superspreader" event that left seven people dead and 177 infected, renewing fear of the disease in the northeastern US state that had hoped the worst of the pandemic was behind it.


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  • Biden’s Crew Will Go on Fox, ‘Even if Questions Are Insane’

    Biden’s Crew Will Go on Fox, ‘Even if Questions Are Insane’In 2019, a number of Democrats hoping to secure the presidential nomination argued that it made sense for top party officials to engage with Fox News as a means of recruiting some potential swing voters and, if nothing else, driving President Donald Trump crazy.Former Vice President Joe Biden emerged victorious from that primary promising to run a presidential campaign on the notion that he could reach voters of various ideological stripes, including those Democrats who may have stayed home or cast a ballot for Trump in 2016. But so far, he has steered clear of appearing on the nation’s highest-watched channel.The Biden campaign views his absence from Fox as calculated but not universal. Rather than having the candidate on air, they are peppering the Trump-supportive network with prominent surrogates. They feel like the strategy is working.“If you’re watching MSNBC, we have you,” a Biden campaign official said. “It seems like a more worthwhile endeavor to go on Fox, even if the questions are insane.”Fox News Host Grills Kayleigh McEnany on Trump’s Disastrous ABC Town HallBut Biden's personal dismissal of the network does stand in contrast to other Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who appeared on Fox News multiple times during the campaign four years ago. And it illustrates a press strategy that could best be described as: first, do no harm.“There are some Fox platforms one can go on and not lose their dignity,” said Philippe Reines, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton who pushed for the secretary of state to appear more on Fox News in the lead-up to the 2016 election.But, he added: “If the election were held tomorrow, Joe Biden would win. To some extent, this isn't some tipping point.” The question of whether or not Democrats should engage Fox News is one of the constant tactical debates of any electoral cycle. The network has a well-known conservative bias. And at times it has essentially become the communications arm of the Trump White House, with recent interviews with the president bordering on campaign promotion sessions. This week alone, the president has sat down for an interview with Fox News weekend host Jeanine Pirro. He called to check in with his longtime friend Sean Hannity, and promised the Fox & Friends morning crew during a telephone interview that he would come on the show once a week through the election (F&F co-host Steve Doocy threw cold water on that, however, saying the network will “take it on a case-by-case basis, and Joe Biden as well”).Fox News’ Brit Hume Preferred ‘Likable’ Jill Biden to ‘Angry’ Michelle ObamaFor some Democrats, there simply is no upside in trying to elbow in on Fox programming; there may, in fact, be a downside in the form of legitimizing the network. Biden’s team, to that end, has approached the conservative cable news network cautiously. Since sitting down for a brief interview with Chris Wallace during the heart of the Democratic primary voting in March, Biden has done zero interviews or events with the network, and according to campaign insiders, there’s no plan at the moment to change that. Fox News hosts and producers have been publicly and privately frustrated with the general lack of interest from the Biden campaign in ramping up high-profile surrogates and candidate appearances on the conservative news channel. But rather than stonewall Fox News altogether, the Biden campaign has dispatched staff to appear on the somewhat down-the-middle daytime programs with the network’s less ideological hosts compared to its overtly right-wing primetime stars.Staff including senior adviser Symone Sanders and communications director Kate Bedingfield have made regular daytime appearances on Fox News, while national spokesman T J Ducklo recently sat down for an interview on Bret Baier’s show. The campaign keeps tabs on the small stable of Democratic advisers, consultants, and businesspeople who regularly appear on Fox News, sending daily surrogate talking points and info the campaign wants to hammer home. And Biden’s team also coordinates and encourages national politicians with experience on Fox News to appear on the network, leaning on Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg.Why the campaign has chosen to send surrogates is strictly a matter of politics. There’s an understanding by insiders that while a large segment of the audience may ignore their message—and while the channel’s bombastic opinion hosts may mock Biden or take his comments out of context—the campaign believes it can nibble at the margins and convince a small number of Fox News viewers that the former vice president is an acceptable choice.One Biden insider conceded that while the campaign believes Fox News amplifies “blatant lies from Donald Trump to aid in his re-election,” it was strategically important to reach some possible persuadable voters. “They shouldn’t be treated like a real news organization because they lack the standards and ethics of real journalists,” the insider said. “But that doesn’t mean the campaign doesn’t value voters who watch Fox News, and sometimes it’s important to speak to those folks.”Ryan, who made Fox News appearances a major part of his brief 2020 presidential bid’s media strategy, said Biden was “1,000 percent” easier to swallow for Fox News audiences than Hillary Clinton, an advantage that the current Democratic nominee could exploit. But when asked about whether Biden should appear on Fox News before the election, he demurred, suggesting the campaign could be leaving votes on the table by ignoring the conservative network. “That's up to them, but I always think it's important to go on there, and, you know, I'm happy to do it. I mean, there aren't many persuadables left,” Ryan said. “But they're watching Fox, there's no question. They're not watching MSNBC."Since locking up the nomination, Biden has been fairly modest with his press hits, even as the COVID-pandemic has forced him to drastically cut back on all the other ways he could interact with voters. But his reluctance to engage with the network can also be attributed to Fox New’s recent track record.Many of Biden’s top staff have not forgotten that Fox News spent months enthusiastically insinuating that Biden tilted the foreign policy scales to benefit his son in Ukraine. Fox News has zealously embraced the idea that the 77-year-old former vice president is not mentally fit to occupy the White House, despite endlessly hyping a president who is just a few years younger. The former vice president took a very different approach to the conservative media giant than his primary rivals. During the 2016 campaign, candidates like Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gamely participated in Fox News interviews and town halls, arguing that their campaigns wanted to speak to broader audiences. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said she wouldn’t “ask Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates,” used her decision to boycott the network as an opportunity to build out her supporter contact list.The Biden campaign’s decision to leave Fox News largely to the occasional staff appearance and the network’s Democratic contributors also differs (however slightly) from Clinton’s approach to Fox News in 2016. The former secretary of state, who had a far more contentious history with the network than Biden ever had, participated in a Fox News town hall during the 2016 Democratic primary, and sat for interviews with hosts Chris Wallace and Bret Baier during the general election. Fox News isn’t the only national news outlet frustrated by Biden’s lighter-touch media approach. While many news organizations have opted against sending large teams of reporters on the campaign trail because of the pandemic, some of the national reporters covering the former vice president have lamented the somewhat limited press access. The Biden campaign has agreed to some national media interviews in the weeks since the convention. Since clinching the nomination, he’s conducted interviews with most of the major television networks, and appeared occasionally on CNN and MSNBC. But Biden’s campaign has largely focused its recent media energy on local news television in swing states, noting that since the beginning of the pandemic local television viewership ratings have risen. Over the past few weeks, the campaign has booked Biden or campaign surrogates on several local news hits a day in states like Arizona, Wisconsin, and Florida. And the former vice president has also begun pouring money into television ads, announcing a $65-million ad buy for health care-themed ads in 10 key battleground states. > Biden up with new broadcast and digital ads in Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin focusing on pre-existing condition protections. > here's one pic.twitter.com/YhVVTjnIfF> > — Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) September 16, 2020Still, the Biden surrogates who do appear on Fox News believe the campaign and Democrats generally should engage with the network, even if some of the channel’s programming is deeply misleading and inflammatory. Robert Wolf, a former Wall Street executive and Obama supporter who remains close with the 44th president, is one of the Democrats who gets paid to regularly appear on the network. The former top banking figure recently announced he is hosting a fundraiser for Biden, with whom he occasionally shares his opinions on business and the economy. In an email to The Daily Beast, Wolf noted that while he is not an official campaign surrogate, he does his best to positively represent Biden’s economic vision. “Biden’s push to win over Fox viewers is by making clear his values and his policy platforms such as Build Back Better and climate change that work for them and all Americans,” he said.“My role as a Fox contributor and staunch Democrat is to provide the facts and a balanced opinion predominantly as it relates to the economy and business, and point out key differences between Trump and what a Biden presidency would look like.”—Sam Brodey contributed reporting. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • DNC receives thousands of $19.08 donations in honor of AKA

    DNC receives thousands of $19.08 donations in honor of AKAThe DNC has nabbed over 11,000 donations in the same amount of the founding year of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Kamala Harris is a sister. The campaign to elect former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, has attracted support from what Harris has called her “secret weapon:” the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


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  • Utah police officer charged with assault for ordering K9 to bite Black man who was kneeling with his hands up, prosecutors say

    Utah police officer charged with assault for ordering K9 to bite Black man who was kneeling with his hands up, prosecutors saySalt Lake City police officer Nickolas Pearce is facing a second-degree felony assault charge after ordering his K9 to bite Jeffery Ryans on April 23.


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  • Japan police arrest fraud suspect linked to ex-PM's event

    Japan police arrest fraud suspect linked to ex-PM's eventJapanese police on Friday arrested a man on fraud charges linked to annual cherry blossom viewing parties that were hosted by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but the new government ruled out an investigation into how the party and its budget were used. Abe's annual cherry party came into question last year when opposition lawmakers pointed out the number of guests and high cost, accusing Abe of using taxpayers' money to entertain constituents. Abe has denied any wrongdoing or personal ties with the suspect and is not facing any criminal investigation so far.


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  • How a 'Hillbilly Brigade' saved an Oregon town from raging wildfires

    How a 'Hillbilly Brigade' saved an Oregon town from raging wildfiresNicole West steered her bulldozer through the smoldering forest, pushing logs into the underbrush and away from the wildfires ripping through Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Behind West, on the front lines of the 136,000-acre (55,000-hectare) Riverside fire, two young men pulled a water tank behind their pickup truck, struggling to douse the flames. In a year when ferocious wildfires have killed at least 34 people and burned millions of acres in Oregon, Washington and California, the brigade has pulled off a miracle in the thick forests around Molalla in recent days, residents and fire officials say.


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  • The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory'

    The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory'The programs Rufo targeted are intended to improve communication, defuse tensions and promote equal opportunities among co-workers of different races and ethnicities, and are analogous, or identical to, similar programs that have been a staple of corporate human relations departments for decades.


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  • Harvey Weinstein: Jailed movie producer stripped of honorary CBE

    Harvey Weinstein: Jailed movie producer stripped of honorary CBEThe disgraced film mogul, jailed this year for rape and sexual assault, received the honour in 2004.


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  • There’s another curve we must flatten: the relentlessly rising curve of sea-level rise | Opinion

    There’s another curve we must flatten: the relentlessly rising curve of sea-level rise | OpinionMy daughter is 29. Seventeen years ago we snorkeled the Florida Keys’ spectacular fish-filled reefs. Her prudent fearlessness, even when faced with an ominous barracuda, filled me with quiet pride.


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  • China launches counter-mechanism to US sanctions list

    China launches counter-mechanism to US sanctions listChina said Saturday it had launched a mechanism enabling it to restrict foreign entities, a much-anticipated move seen as retaliation to US penalties against Chinese companies such as telecom giant Huawei.


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  • Joe Biden's head-scratching pandemic performance

    Joe Biden's head-scratching pandemic performanceEach week, the Trump campaign says, its staff and volunteers knock on one million American doors. And each week, the Biden campaign knocks on zero.Democratic nominee Joe Biden's team has no plans to begin door-to-door canvassing because of COVID-19. "If you asked anybody off the record from the Biden campaign, I think they'd be like 'Yeah, we want to be on doors.' The reality is we still have a pandemic going on," Jason Henry, leader of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, told Politico. "Those conversations are still being had because we want to make sure we do this safely."That's a prudent and admirable desire. But deciding against door-knocking isn't safety. It's security theater, and it may well do the Biden campaign more harm than good."Security theater" is a term coined by Bruce Schneier, a tech security expert who lectures at Harvard, and its original context was the war on terror. As Schneier defines it, the phrase "refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security." Early in the pandemic, condemnation of Florida's decision to open its beaches was security theater, as outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is extremely unlikely with basic social distancing. A more classic example is the TSA. Most of its procedures — like body scans — do little to protect air travel from terrorism, but they make the public feel like something is being done.That feeling is nice, and politicians like to provide it in hope we'll will accord our votes to the source of our nice feelings. "The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders," Schneier explained a decade ago. "When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense."Declining to door knock because of COVID-19 doesn't make any sense. This is an activity easily done safely. It is usually outdoors, where risk of transmission is low. (Skipping apartment buildings with indoor hallways would be a reasonable precaution.) It can be performed in a mask, and it does not require participants to get within six feet of each other. The literature handoff can be done at a distance — a volunteer could place the paper on the ground for the voter to pick up instead of handing it to them directly — and thus is no riskier than receiving mail or the contactless literature drops the Biden campaign plans to start soon. The interactions are brief, a few minutes at most. In every way, this is a safe activity with a minimal risk of coronavirus transmission. Canceling door-to-door canvassing "for safety" is security theater, nothing more.It's also just bad campaign strategy. Studies show most campaign activities are remarkably useless, particularly in general elections at the federal level. Very few voters are persuadable. Campaigns spend enormous sums of money for incredibly little change in support or turnout. However, though the evidence is conflicting, door-knocking performs better than any other standard means of mass voter contact, particularly if the conversations are substantive and memorable. Canvassing can even be cheaper in terms of votes secured than methods like direct mail and phone banking. The Biden campaign says it's focusing on "conversations," and maybe phone calls and texts will prove as effective as canvassing, but that's quite a gamble — and a needless one.Intriguingly — though unsurprising given the hyperbolic, performative nature of campaigning — Biden's COVID-19 policy plan is generally not security theater, at least not indisputably so given basic agreement that the pandemic is real and should be mitigated. The promise to "[i]nvest in next-generation testing, including at-home tests and instant tests" is excellent, though the verb is wrong: The reason we don't have home testing is not scarcity of investment but excessive federal regulation.I might apply the security theater label to Biden's proposal to create "a Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt's War Production Board." I'm not sure how this differs from his suggestion of a "Supply Commander" or extant federal orders, and the proposal seems primarily designed to link Biden to a revered president past. I'd certainly apply the label to Biden's national mask mandate, not because masks don't work (they do) but because the mandate won't work. It's unlikely to survive legal challenge. Moreover, governors who haven't issued mask mandates would very possibly tell police in their state not to enforce Biden's order, particularly if a court case were already underway. The constitutional and enforcement realities turn a national mandate into security theater.Biden doesn't need these theatrics to model responsibility. He doesn't need to promise a probably impossible mandate or sacrifice door-to-door canvassing. His campaign already has a slew of other COVID-19 precautions, many very visible, that advertise his position well. Anyway, the first pledge in Biden's COVID-19 plan is that he'll "[l]isten to science." Well, science says brief, masked, no-contact, outdoor interactions are safe. Eschewing door-knocking is useless drama.More stories from theweek.com How a productivity phenomenon explains the unraveling of America How the Trump-Russia story was buried The conservatives who want to undo the Enlightenment


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  • Jared Kushner reportedly said 'free markets will solve' the PPE shortage in March. Nurses are still paying for that approach.

    Jared Kushner reportedly said 'free markets will solve' the PPE shortage in March. Nurses are still paying for that approach."The federal government is not going to lead this response," Kushner reportedly said in March, adding, "Free markets will solve this."


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  • Ex-officer indicted for fatally shooting Texas woman whose dog ran at him

    Ex-officer indicted for fatally shooting Texas woman whose dog ran at himA Tarrant County grand jury indicted former Arlington police officer Ravinder Singh on a charge of criminally negligent homicide.


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  • Kremlin chafes at Navalny team taking suspected evidence

    Kremlin chafes at Navalny team taking suspected evidenceThe Kremlin accused colleagues of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Friday of hampering a Russian investigation by taking items from his hotel room out of the country, including a water bottle the colleagues claimed had traces of the Soviet nerve agent that German authorities said was used to poison Navalny. Navalny's colleagues revealed Thursday that they removed the bottle and other items from the hotel room in Siberia and brought them to Germany as potential evidence. “Regrettably, what could have been evidence of poisoning was taken away,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.


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  • After U.S. claims, France says no evidence of Hezbollah explosives stores

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  • Bear cub wakes up sunbather with gentle nudge

    Bear cub wakes up sunbather with gentle nudgeA Massachusetts homeowner was relaxing by his pool when he was startled by a curious bear cub.


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  • Senator Ted Cruz leads Republican calls to fill Supreme Court vacancy before election

    Senator Ted Cruz leads Republican calls to fill Supreme Court vacancy before electionTexas politician denied earlier this week he wants to serve on Supreme Court


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  • California and Oregon 2020 wildfires in maps, graphics and images

    California and Oregon 2020 wildfires in maps, graphics and imagesA visual guide to the wildfires ravaging California, Oregon and other western states.


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  • Georgia Senate Candidate Jon Ossoff Quietly Discloses Financial Ties to Pro-CCP Hong Kong Media Company

    Georgia Senate Candidate Jon Ossoff Quietly Discloses Financial Ties to Pro-CCP Hong Kong Media CompanyGeorgia Democrat and Senate candidate Jon Ossoff has been compensated by a Hong Kong media conglomerate whose owner has spoken out against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to his most recent financial disclosure.Ossoff, whose role as CEO of a London-based producer of investigative documentaries has drawn scrutiny over the years, reported in an amended financial statement that he has received at least $5,000 from PCCW Media Limited over the last two years — a detail that has previously gone unreported. Ossoff did not disclose his ties to PCCW in his initial financial report, which he filed in May.PCCW, the largest telecom agency in Hong Kong, is run by Chairman Richard Li, son of Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing. Li also serves as a councilor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank. But for years, Li has spoken out against Hong Kong independence and the pro-democracy protests that have rocked the island as the Chinese Communist Party has consolidated control.An Ossoff campaign spokesperson told National Review that the payments stemmed from the airing of "two investigations produced by Jon’s company of ISIS war crimes against women and girls," representing "one of dozens of TV stations and distributors in more than 30 countries that have aired Jon’s work.""Jon strongly supports Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and condemns the brutality and authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party,” the spokesperson added, after a National Review analysis of Ossoff’s public comments showed that the candidate has been silent on the situation in Hong Kong. Ossoff's campaign declined to comment on whether he condemns Li’s opposition to the island’s pro-democracy movement.In 2016, Li released a public statement asserting that he was “staunchly opposed to the independence of Hong Kong,” after a mainland Chinese media outlet reported that his company was backing pro-democracy singer Denise Ho Wan-see, prompting calls to boycott his companies from Chinese nationalists.“Mr. Richard Li and MOOV would like to clearly state that the company and Mr. Li respect freedom of expression,” the statement read. “However, both Mr. Li and the Company are staunchly opposed to the independence of Hong Kong and it is their view that the independence of Hong Kong would not be feasible, and discussing Hong Kong’s independence is a waste of society’s resources.”As protests reached a fever pitch in 2019, Li moved to take out full-page advertisements in seven newspapers to call for the restoration of “the social order with the rule of law,” backing the recommendations of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council.While Li reaffirmed the “One Country, Two Systems” principle that has governed Hong Kong since 1997, he has been silent since the Chinese Communist Party acted unilaterally to pass a sweeping new national security law in June, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said makes Hong Kong no longer an “autonomous” entity.Li’s father Li Ka-shing has publicly backed the law, saying the Hong Kong people “need not over-hypothesise it,” even as Beijing has cracked down on its critics and dissenters. And when asked by Vulture what the law would mean for potential media censorship, a PCCW spokesperson said that “PCCW Media will operate its businesses in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.”PCCW’s payments to Ossoff are not the only source of controversy in the amended report. In July, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that, based on the same disclosure, Ossoff has been compensated financially by the Qatari-backed news agency Al Jazeera over the past two years. Ossoff was heavily criticized for similar ties to Al Jazeera during his failed run for Georgia's Sixth Congressional District in 2017.Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with a comment from the Ossoff campaign.


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  • US sends troops, armored vehicles to Syria to counter Russia

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  • China's 1st Supercarrier Could Feature EMALS Launch Technology: Report

    China's 1st Supercarrier Could Feature EMALS Launch Technology: ReportThe carrier could rival those in the U.S. fleet for size and capability, according to an analysis.


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  • A dentist who pulled someone's tooth while riding a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud and 'unlawful dental acts'

    A dentist who pulled someone's tooth while riding a hoverboard has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud and 'unlawful dental acts'In a 2016 video, the dentist rolls up to a sedated patient, pulls her tooth while standing on the hoverboard, and rolls away.


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  • Inside the Hell of Israel’s Second Lockdown

    Inside the Hell of Israel’s Second LockdownIsraelis just want to fly away.The atmosphere was so grim as the nation entered a coronavirus lockdown on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, that there appeared to be no escape.One meme making the rounds showed desperate hands reaching out of the sea towards a far-off airplane flying high in a deep blue sky, accompanied only by the traditional greeting of “Shana Tova,” a good year.The greeting felt hollow as Israel entered into the year 5781 as the first country on earth to impose a second national lockdown.Alone in small home-bound pods, unable to gather or to pray in synagogues, and confused by the government's constantly evolving, often contradictory guidelines, Israelis feel alienated, angry, and appalled.‘The Second Wave’ of COVID Hits Israel Like a TsunamiThey did not feel this way in early March, when Israel went into its first lockdown. The nation, which began to closing its borders in late January, appeared to have the health crisis under firm control. The quarantined Passover and Easter season was greeted with hardiness and even some good humor.In late May, after the third inconclusive Israeli election in under a year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu established an uncomfortable team-of-rivals coalition keeping him in power for a further 18 months, which he called a “corona emergency coalition.”His government’s handling of COVID-19 resulted in only 250 deaths and was so admired that even countries with no diplomatic ties to Israel tried to emulate its success.Three months later, tiny Israel—with a population of 9.2 million people—holds a world record no country wishes for: the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 per million.During the weeks in which Israel precipitously tumbled from best to worst in its handing of the novel coronavirus, Netanyahu blamed the spiraling fiasco on the public, on his rival-turned-political-partner Benny Gantz, on the opposition, and on Ronny Gamzu, his recently appointed corona czar, whose advice has generally been ignored by a government hobbled by rivalries and by sectarian coalition considerations.The national angst was summed up by Hiba Abu Much, a laboratory scientist interviewed by Israeli radio.With barely disguised exasperation, Abu Much, a graduate of the Technion, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Israel, said, “I have two degrees in medical science, ten years of experience in the field, I barely get to see home, all for an hourly wage of $12.50.”“No new positions are opening up,” she continued, “operations are being canceled, patients are not being discharged from hospital, the coronavirus is raging, and the Ministry of Health’s director general flew to Abu Dhabi.”Instead of bringing the COVID-19 crisis under control, Netanyahu has presided over a head-turning series of diplomatic coups, culminating with the establishment of diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates, which was celebrated earlier this week at the White House.But plush, inviting Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, which Israelis have never before been able to visit, feels farther away than ever for hardworking parents who sent their kids back to school on September 1 for what turned out to be a two-week term.Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown GainsThe shambolic reopening of schools in early summer is considered the trigger that set off Israel’s deadly second wave.  Israel is now seeing astronomic growth of new COVID-19 infections, which currently stand at about 6,000 new cases a day.  Amid sniping between ministers who are supposed to define policy, no one knows how the school year will resume after the month of Jewish High Holy days, which end in mid-October.“I’d fly to Abu Dhabi,” Fares Fahhan, the owner of a hardware store on Hebron Road, a major Jerusalem artery, said wistfully on Friday as a police officer walking by glared at his unmasked face. “If we already had direct flights, I’d go there to escape the lockdown.”Netanyahu and Trump have trumpeted a new era of direct flights between Tel Aviv and previously unattainable Arab capitals, but as airlines struggle to survive and COVID-19 rages, they have not yet been put into place.The new lockdown imposes stay-at-home orders on all Israel, allowing citizens to distance themselves from their residences by about half a mile if they need essentials such as food or medicine.Fahhan’s losses are significant. His income in the summer of 2020 is 53 percent less than it was in the summer of 2019, his landlord refuses to reduce the rent, he hasn’t qualified for any of the meager national schemes intended to help save small businesses, and City Hall has only given him a 25 percent reduction on Jerusalem’s hefty municipal tax.  “It is very hard,” he says. His location in Abu Tor—a well-to-do neighborhood about evenly divided between Jewish and Arab residents who enjoy DIY home improvements—used to be an advantage, but now he’s hobbled with high rent and expenses and “people just don’t leave their houses, and when they do, they have no money. They buy a battery.”Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been increasingly preoccupied by an economy buckling under the pressure of coronavirus-related layoffs and slowdowns, and a swelling protest movement demanding his resignation, often under the banner “Crime Minister.”Netanyahu calls the protesters “left-wing anarchists.” On Friday, The Black Flag movement, which has been driving the protests, flew a drone over Tel Aviv’s grand—and now empty—Rabin Square, where they had painted the words, “The lockdown is Bibi’s fault” in huge letters.The police also took to the air, posting a video showing Israeli highways swirling below, almost completely empty.Retired General Yaakov Amidror, Netanyahu’s former National Security Adviser and a pillar of Israel’s right-wing security establishment, hailed the accord with the UAE as “something unequivocally good for Israel,” but acknowledged that if the political instability persists, “Netanyahu’s problem will not be the Middle East, it’ll be the middle class.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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  • Op-Ed: Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it

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