With 1,000 new deaths reported yesterday, the U.S. has given its first full approval to a treatment for the coronavirus, remdesivir. The antiviral, already approved in dozens of other countries and for U.S. emergencies, has reduced recovery times — but not deaths — in major trials. In their final presidential debate last night, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden presented warring visions of the virus that has killed 220,000 Americans, with Trump promising “it will go away” as Biden foresaw a “dark winter” coming. Meanwhile, North Korea warned citizens to stay inside and avoid dust clouds that the government claims, without evidence, are transporting contagion from China.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett moved closer to filling the empty seat on the U.S. Supreme Court as the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved bringing her nomination to the floor of the Senate. Outnumbered committee Democrats boycotted the vote in an unsuccessful attempt to invalidate it. Barrett is expected to be confirmed by Monday evening, bolstering conservatives hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade, cancel Obamacare and rein in voting access. Meanwhile, Polish police pepper sprayed hundreds of people protesting after the country’s Constitutional Tribunal banned abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.
3. Lebanon’s New Prime Minister Is a Familiar Face
After a massive August 4 explosion that devastated the city of Beirut, Lebanon’s government resigned amid an outcry for new leadership. But now the country’s president has asked Saad Hariri — who resigned as prime minister amid anti-government protests last October — to serve again. That enables the third attempt to form a government this year, and with the smallest majority of approval from parliament yet seen. If he’s successful, Hariri will not only have to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and Beirut’s reconstruction, but an ongoing financial crisis that’s disabled bank accounts since his last leadership stint.
4. Anticipating Opioid Blame, Walmart Sues Government
With the U.S. Justice Department expected to take legal action against the retail giant for the role its pharmacies had in filling opioid prescriptions and thus fueling the prescription drug addiction crisis, Walmart has made the first move. Its lawsuit claims that the federal government is scapegoating its business to mask its own failures to regulate opioids. That’s likely a bid to bolster its legal case, but the last company to try a similar tactic — Quicken Loans, which hoped to avoid being blamed for mortgage frauds in 2015 — ended up getting sued anyway and settling.
Mountain towns in Colorado are being evacuated ahead of the second-largest wildfire in the state’s history. New York City, Portland and Seattle are suing the Trump administration for officially designating them as “anarchist,” which could affect their federal funding. And the World Series drew a record-low TV audience for the second straight night.
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Meet the blue-collar billionaire. Carlos connects with the ultimate hustler, Mark Cuban, on how he out-worked, out-learned and out-hustled his way to the top. The Mavs owner shares how he raises self-sufficient children and gives his ultimate advice to young entrepreneurs. This is a can't-miss episode for those hoping to make it big.
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Dutch security expert Victor Gevers has reportedly hacked into the U.S. president’s Twitter account for the second time. The first was in 2016, when data from a LinkedIn breach gave him clues to Trump’s password. At the time, he suggested a few more secure ones, including “maga2020!” — which he says turned out to be the password when he hacked in again four years later, providing screenshots purportedly showing user-level access. The White House has categorically denied any such incident, while Twitter said they’ve seen no evidence of a hack and that high-profile accounts like Trump’s have increased security.
2. Uber and Lyft Lose Appeal on Driver-Contractors
Everything’s riding on the ballot now. The two ride-hailing giants have been ordered by an appeals court in California to start classifying their drivers as employees — with a minimum wage, basic labor protections and the right to unionize — rather than independent contractors. Both companies have threatened to pull out of the Golden State entirely rather than do so, but they can also appeal to the state Supreme Court. Or they can simply wait until Nov. 3 to see if voters approve state Proposition 22, which would allow app-based ride and delivery services to ignore labor laws.
3. How COVID-19 Is Putting Unpaid Caregivers at Risk
Caring for a loved one who needs constant medical attention is normally a lonely and difficult endeavor. But COVID-19 has added to the isolation and anxiety, bringing increased risks to unpaid caregivers, OZY reports. A June survey showed that about 30 percent of American caregivers considered suicide in the previous month — even higher than essential workers forced to risk exposure to the coronavirus. Still, caregivers are also more likely than the general population to seek preventative care, which can be a lifeline along with simple love and gratitude from the rest of us.
4. Missing Modernist Masterwork Found in NYC Apartment
It’s no longer a lost art. A visitor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s temporary exhibit of Jacob Lawrence paintings this summer noticed a resemblance between the panels in his multipart Struggle: From the History of the American People and a painting hanging in a neighbor’s living room. Last week, the owners contacted the museum, and now the painting they bought at a charity auction in 1960 has been authenticated as Lawrence’s work. The piece, which depicts Shay’s Rebellion in 1780s Massachusetts, will tour the country along with the rest of the Met’s show later this year.
5. Boris Becker Charged After Failing to Surrender Trophies
This could be quite a racket. The three-time Wimbledon champion, born in Germany but living in London, declared bankruptcy in 2017, meaning he had to surrender his assets to be sold and pay off his $6 million in debt. Now he’s been accused of keeping some of his trophies, including two from Wimbledon wins, and concealing $1.3 million in the bank. He’s pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is free on bail until his expected trial in September 2021. If convicted, he could spend years behind bars.
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