The week that started with a Black man, Jacob Blake, paralyzed by seven police bullets in his back in Kenosha, Wisconsin, ended fittingly in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. There, commemorating the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, “we have to be the change,” said Bridgett Floyd, sister of George Floyd, whose Minneapolis killing sparked a rebirth of civil rights activism. But sadly, noted a marcher from Illinois, home of the white teenager charged with fatally shooting two Kenosha demonstrators, “57 years later, we are still fighting that same fight.”
It’s not just the ballots. Republicans who oppose widespread voting-by-mail are resisting local efforts to streamline it. On Thursday, the Trump campaign convinced a judge to invalidate 50,000 absentee ballots requests — arguing that a local election official in Iowa shouldn’t have sent them nearly completed. Meanwhile, Texas’ Republican attorney general informed Harris County, Houston’s home, that it couldn’t send mail-in ballot applications to 2 million residents, and threatened legal action. Polling shows Democrats more likely to vote by mail — something the party is banking on in pivotal Pennsylvania, despite vigorous Republican efforts to stymie the process.
3. In Turkey-Greece Crisis, This Time It’s Financial
They’ve been rivals with Greece since Troy fell, but Turkey’s potential military conflict today is more about economic resources than it was in the 1974 Turkish invasion and partitioning of Cyprus. Nonetheless, “any spark could lead to catastrophe,” warns German foreign minister Heiko Maas concerning untapped natural gas off Greek-protected Cyprus, where Turkish seismic surveys began this month. On Friday the European Union, which Greece belongs to, said it’s drafting sanctions against Turkish shipping if Ankara doesn’t withdraw. It might do so, considering it’s just discovered a massive new gas field off of its Black Sea coast.
Snicker all you want. The image of Jerry Falwell Jr., perhaps President Trump’s greatest evangelical-right booster, splashed across the tabloids as a serial cuckold-voyeur, has delighted foes of red-meat America. But to journalist Chris Lehmann and investigative reporter Alec MacGillis, there are greater transgressions to process: Taxpayers bankroll Falwell’s Liberty University to the tune of $800 million a year through student loans, making it the sixth-largest aid recipient among U.S. colleges, grants and veterans’ aid, spending $260 million on instruction out of $749 million it collects in tuition, making it one of America’s richest nonprofits.
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Like other superheroes, he had a vulnerability. Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday at the age of 43, had secretly battled colon cancer for four years — even while playing the 2018 Black Panther title role that he’s known for, King T’Challa. He also portrayed real-life heroes, like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and barrier-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson and was lauded by the Congressional Black Caucus. Actor Angela Bassett, who met Boseman when he was a Howard University student and played T’Challa’s mother, was among many who paid tribute to “a beautiful spirit, a consummate artist, a soulful brother.”
It started with the sunbirds. Natural-fashion entrepreneur Gowri Shankar watched them outside of his window in southern India, picking at the stems of the giant calotrope plant to build nests with. So Shakar started doing the same thing to make plant-based wool, OZY reports, which could be the next big thing on the catwalks of Milan. It’s not simply a wool substitute. It’s also vegan and results in far less waste and pollution. And there’s more: Calotropis gigantea produces a residue that repels insects, making even more use of the common regional plant.
Say hello to their little friends. The Halobacteriovorax bacteria “engenders a lot of ‘wow,’ a lot of ‘oh my goodness,’” in one researcher’s words. That’s because it’s a microscopic predator that latches onto other bacteria and then kills and eats them. Scientists hope to harness such killing power against drug-resistant pathogens as a wonder treatment when all else fails. The good news is that Halobacteriovorax are everywhere, from ocean brine to dirt to laboratory plumbing. Before the experts can realize this miracle, however, they will have to learn things like how the little buggers capture and dispatch their prey.
Someone always saves the day. That’s what happens in the classic Hollywood summer blockbuster, but 2020’s IRL disaster has precluded movies in which a hero comes out of nowhere and delivers us from mortal danger, writes film critic Alissa Wilkinson. From classics such as Die Hard to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wagnerian narratives have left U.S. viewers breathless and relieved. But now America — and Hollywood — faces an actual existential threat, with audiences suddenly going cold turkey on big releases and international audiences enjoying homegrown fare, leaving Wilkinson to wonder: Can our cinematic heroes get out of this alive?
No justice, no hoops. That message resounded from the empty parquet floors of Orlando, Florida, Wednesday and Thursday as entire teams were inspired by the Milwaukee Bucks’ initial protest over police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just outside their home city. That spurred others in baseball and soccer to follow suit, sending an undeniable message. Now the NBA and its players union say they’ll resume play today, but with a commitment to fight for social justice and promote voting access. They’ll keep on loving their country, said LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers, even if “this country does not love us back.”
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