Style

USA

New study estimates more than 900,000 people have died of COVID-19

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures. Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The far right conspiracy

New York AG sues Jacob Wohl for $2.75 million over robocalls

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that her office has filed a lawsuit against bumbling right-wing conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman over robocalls the pair allegedly made to suppress the Black vote ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Election 2020

FBI raid exposes Giuliani and signals widening criminal search, experts say

The extraordinary FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani’s New York apartment and office has sparked debate about what criminal charges Giuliani may face, and signals a widening criminal investigation into his Ukraine drive to help Trump in 2020 by sullying Joe Biden, former prosecutors say.

Fox & Friends

DeSantis gives Fox 'exclusive' of him signing election bill

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, continuing his ongoing feud with most of the “corporate media,” on Thursday signed into law a contentious election bill during an event where only Fox News was allowed to observe.

General Ruslan Ryaboshapka

Former Ukrainian prosecutor says he was fired for not investigating Hunter Biden

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said in an interview published on Wednesday that he believes he was fired from his position last year for refusing to investigate President Biden’s son Hunter Biden at the request of Rudy Giuliani and former President Trump.

Republican Party

Liz Cheney warns Republicans ‘at turning point’ as she faces removal from leadership

Liz Cheney, the third-most-powerful House Republican, has warned that her party is “at a turning point” as it prepares to try to remove her from leadership for rejecting Donald Trump’s false claims about the election. Writing in a defiant op-ed, published by the Washington Post on Wednesday, the Wyoming Republican told her party that standing with Trump meant undermining the rule of law and risking continued violence. “Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work – confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law."

Facebook Supreme Court

Trump’s Facebook ban should not be lifted, network’s oversight board rules

The Facebook Oversight Board is a “Supreme Court” for Facebook. On Wednesday, it acted like it — issuing a finely grained ruling that punts the hardest question posed to it back down for Mark Zuckerberg to deal with. The issue before the board, was whether to uphold Facebook’s indefinite ban of Donald Trump’s account following his role in inciting the January 6 riot at the Capitol. It was, by far, the most hotly anticipated decision in the Oversight Board’s young existence. Since the company referred the case to the board on January 21, it received over 9,000 public comments on the matter.

30-meter-tall CZ-5B core

A huge Chinese rocket part is making an out-of-control descent to Earth

An enormous rocket component that China recently launched into space is out-of-control in orbit and is expected to make a chaotic reentry into the atmosphere this week, provoking concerns about a possible impact in a populated area. The rocket debris, which is estimated to weigh more than 20 metric tons, will most likely splash down in remote ocean waters, but its current trajectory also passes over urban areas as far north as New York state and as far south as New Zealand, reports Andrew Jones of SpaceNews.

National Public Radio

U.S.-Mexico efforts targeting drug cartels have unraveled, top DEA official admits

A senior Drug Enforcement Administration official told NPR efforts to target drug cartels operating inside Mexico have unraveled because of a breakdown in cooperation between law enforcement agencies and militaries in the two countries. "We're willing to share [intelligence] with our counterparts in Mexico but they themselves are too afraid to even engage with us because of repercussions from their own government if they get caught working with DEA," said Matthew Donahue, the DEA's deputy chief of operations.

Refugees

Biden White House reverses on its refugee cap reversal

Weeks after abandoning the number, President Joe Biden once again set a 62,500 cap on refugees allowed into the United States for the rest of this fiscal year, the White House announced on Monday. The number delivers on an increase Biden initially promised in February, though still falls short of what he had pledged during the campaign. It marks a stunning and rapid turnaround after the White House said several weeks ago it would keep the number of refugees allowed into the United States at a historic low of 15,000 — a ceiling first implemented by President Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Inner circle is terrified the feds are coming for them next

If you haven’t been keeping up with the legal affairs of Donald Trump of late, what you should know is that the guy is very likely fucked. With the ex-president facing no fewer than 29 lawsuits and three criminal investigations, his tax returns are currently in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose team is also working to flip the Trump Organization employee who knows where all the bodies are buried and has both (1) cooperated with prosecutors in the past and (2) made some rather interesting comments about the company’s legal dealings.

Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce after 27 years

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, announced Monday that they are parting ways after nearly three decades of marriage. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair said in a statement.

Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett names Greg Abel as next CEO

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has confirmed that the vice-chairman of his Berkshire Hathaway investment conglomerate, Greg Abel, will succeed him as chief executive. The 90-year-old’s succession plan was teased out of him – apparently by accident – by his longtime business partner, 97-year-old Charlie Munger, at the company’s annual meeting over the weekend. Buffett, speaking to CNBC in an interview broadcast on Monday, confirmed the choice.

Election 2020

Liz Cheney stokes GOP rift with 'big lie' rebuke of Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday escalated her feud with former President Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress, issuing a less-than-subtle swipe at the former president’s latest attempt to claim the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Modern Slavery

Judge rules South Carolina restaurant manager owes more than $500K to worker

A judge ruled that a former South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities to work more than 100 hours a week without pay, owes the former employee more than $500,000. According to The Post and Courier, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith, 43, to work at J&J Cafeteria without pay.

President Joe Biden

Biden calls for broad spending, pressing Congress to turn ‘peril into possibility’

President Biden called for a broad reshaping of American society Wednesday night, using his first formal address to Congress to urge a vast expansion of safety net and educational programs while promising to harness the government to create jobs and opportunity for those often left behind. On Wednesday evening, Mr. Biden returned to Capitol Hill, where he served for more than three decades as a senator, seeking greater spending to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure by imposing new taxes on businesses and corporations.

Ahmaud Arbery killing

Three men charged with federal hate crimes

The US justice department has indicted three men on federal hate crime charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was jogging when he was shot and killed in Brunswick on 23 February last year. Arbery’s family characterized his death as a modern-day lynching.

Rudy Giuliani

US officials search Trumps attorney's home and office as part of Ukraine investigation

The Justice Department sharply escalated an investigation into President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant and lawyer Rudy Giuliani Wednesday by executing search warrants at his Manhattan home. The actions were part of a long-running probe into Giuliani’s dealings with a shadowy cast of characters in Ukraine during Trump’s presidency. The FBI also arrived Wednesday morning at the D.C.-area home of another attorney who had dealings with Ukrainians and remains close to Giuliani and Trump.

The far right conspiracy

Meghan McCain defends Fox News pushing fake stories

You would think that any reasonable person would agree that repeatedly pushing demonstrably false stories on the most-watched cable news outlet is not a good thing. But when the person is Meghan McCain and the network is Fox News, that is apparently not the case.

Apple

Record revenues of $90bn amid Covid buying surge

Apple executives announced record revenues on Wednesday, with earnings far surpassing analysts’ expectations. Revenue was up 54% year-over-year to nearly $90bn. Sales in China doubled. Mac sales were a third higher than predicted and iPhone sales came in around $48bn – roughly $6.5bn higher than initial estimates.

Bitcoin Fog

Feds arrest an alleged $336M Bitcoin-laundering kingpin

For a decade, Bitcoin Fog has offered to obscure the source and destination of its customers' cryptocurrency, making it one of the most venerable institutions in the dark web economy. Now the IRS says it has finally identified the Russian-Swedish administrator behind that long-running anonymizing system and charged him with laundering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins, much of which was sent to or from dark web drug markets. What gave him away? The trail of his own decade-old digital transactions.

Andrew Brown

Judge denies requests to release body-cam video of shooting

A judge on Wednesday denied requests to release body-camera video in the case of a Black man who was shot to death by North Carolina deputies as they tried to arrest him on drug-related warrants. Judge Jeffery Foster said he believed the videos contained information that could harm the investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. He said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days.

Shortnews

Black Live Matter

NBA flexes muscle amid partisan attacks

When the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Wednesday, the NBA — already maligned by some as being too political — took a giant step to the forefront on one of America’s most pressing social issues. Fellow players and athletes from other American sports quickly hailed the historic action, forcing the NBA and other leagues to postpone games over multiple days.

Read More
Black Live Matter

NBA flexes muscle amid partisan attacks

When the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Wednesday, the NBA — already maligned by some as being too political — took a giant step to the forefront on one of America’s most pressing social issues.

Fellow players and athletes from other American sports quickly hailed the historic action, forcing the NBA and other leagues to postpone games over multiple days.

But the crowd that already had ire for the league, including President Trump and his allies, mocked the NBA players, suggesting that their activism was hollow.

“I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences for themselves financially,” senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Thursday. “So they have that luxury, which is great.”

While talking to the press later about Hurricane Laura, President Trump called the NBA a “political organization.”

“They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing,” Trump said of the NBA, a league where the players are nearly 75 percent Black. “I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”

Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who controversially told NBA front man LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” in 2018, tweeted: “Good. Make it permanent.”

The NBA and its players had already shown strong support for the Black Lives Matter movement since it returned to action from its coronavirus pandemic-induced hiatus at the end of July.

Black Lives Matter is emblazoned on NBA courts in the Orlando “bubble” on the DisneyWorld campus where teams are playing, and players have put messages on their jerseys such as “Say her name,” “Education reform” and “Enough.”

The messages are intended to send a message about racial justice and ensure the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and others Black people killed by police are not forgotten.

Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police when a white office knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police while in her own home in March as officers enforced a controversial “no-knock” warrant. In June, Brooks was shot and killed by a white Atlanta police officer in Wendy’s parking lot.

The boycott Wednesday initially appeared like it might end the NBA season, but the decision to resume play appears to signal the NBA player interest in continuing to use their platform to push for change.

“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a joint statement.

The duo stated that teams within the playoff bubble were returning to play “with the understanding that” the league would work with teams to focus on a slate of civil and voting rights programs.

Scott Rochelle, president and CEO of National Basketball Retired Players Association, said that former players were “shocked” by the ability of current players to “effectuate that type of change.”

“Our players have been on the frontline on many social justice issues and they have been vocal their entire lives, but never have they been able to witness this type of immediate impact on the game of basketball.”

Rochelle added: “The player’s passion hasn’t changed, the access to power is what really is at the forefront right now.”

Former NBA player Kenny Smith — who in solidarity with the players walked off the set of TNT’s NBA pregame show which he co-hosts — pushed back against the idea that the players’ actions on Wednesday were political in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“No. It shows you have power,” Smith told Blitzer, adding that players were citizens with voices. “Sometimes you have to wake people up with a cold glass of water.”

One of the new initiatives being put in place after the boycotts this week will see NBA arenas, currently sitting empty because of the pandemic, become polling sites in November.

Another by-product of talks is the establishment of a “social justice coalition” that will include players, coaches and state governors. The coalition will focus on issues like “increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform,” the statement from Silver and Roberts states.

Ronald Koeman

New Barcelona manager

Ronald Koeman is set to be appointed the new Barcelona manager this week to take over from Quique Setién. The former Barcelona player, and assistant manager, will leave his role as Netherlands coach to take over at the Camp Nou in time for the new season. Setién’s days looked numbered even before the humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich on Friday and he will leave after seven uncomfortable months. Barcelona finished five points behind Real Madrid in the league and lost to Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in the Spanish Cup.

Read More
Ronald Koeman

New Barcelona manager

Ronald Koeman is set to be appointed the new Barcelona manager this week to take over from Quique Setién. The former Barcelona player, and assistant manager, will leave his role as Netherlands coach to take over at the Camp Nou in time for the new season.

Setién’s days looked numbered even before the humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich on Friday and he will leave after seven uncomfortable months.

Barcelona finished five points behind Real Madrid in the league and lost to Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in the Spanish Cup. It is the first time in the past 12 years that the club have ended a season trophyless.

Koeman had already turned Barça down, in January, when the club were looking for a replacement for Ernesto Valverde, but this time he could not resist the challenge.

The original preference for the Barça president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was to hire Mauricio Pochettino but some board members were against that considering the former Espanyol manager once said that he would rather go and work on a farm than manage Barcelona.

NHL Hockey

LA Kings suspend mascot amid sexual harassment allegations

The Los Angeles Kings have suspended the man who portrays the Kings' "Bailey" lion mascot following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former member of the hockey team's ice crew. Tim Smith, the now-suspended mascot, has also served as a senior manager of game presentation and events for the Kings. A woman who was hired onto the team's ice crew in 2018 filed the suit against Smith, the team, and the Kings owner AEG. The lawsuit is seeking over $1 million in damages, the report added. The woman alleges that Smith made lewd jokes and inappropriate sexual comments before firing her when she confronted and condemned his actions.

Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid youngster Reinier Jesus to joint BVB

Borussia Dortmund are set to sign Real Madrid youngster Reinier Jesus on a one-year loan with an option for another season. The 18-year-old joined Real Madrid in a €30 million transfer from Flamengo in January but has yet to make his senior debut for the La Liga champions. He is now unlikely to make his debut for Los Blancos during the 2021-20 season. Sources confirmed that Dortmund are close to sealing the loan deal for Reinier and he could join his new teammates once they return from their training camp in Switzerland early next week. The agreement will not include a buy option for the Brazil under-23 international.