Police in Wisconsin arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse yesterday in the killings of two men during the previous night’s protests in Kenosha. He's alleged to have been with self-described militia members and wounded three men, two fatally. State authorities also named Rusten Sheskey as the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back Sunday during an arrest attempt. Police said Blake had a knife in the car that he was entering when he was shot. While Wednesday's protests were more peaceful, Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended vigilantes' action against demonstrators, suggesting they sought to “maintain order when no one else would.”
Exactly 15 years after New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Texas and Louisiana are getting hit with something worse: Hurricane Laura, which forecasters warn is bringing an “unsurvivable storm surge” 30 miles inland in some places. The Category 4 storm, with 150 mph winds, prompted the evacuation of 600,000 people before making landfall early today. The storm is so severe that the National Weather Service abandoned its Lake Charles, Louisiana, office. But it’s not just Gulf Coast residents who need to worry: The powerful storm also threatens to cause flooding up into Arkansas, as well as the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
“You are not only a murderer, but a terrorist.” Those were New Zealand Justice Cameron Mander’s words upon sentencing Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people in the March 2019 attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. He received New Zealand’s harshest sentence since 1957: life without parole. The Australian white supremacist remained stone-faced for three days as 91 victims and survivors testified this week, some saying he deserved death, but New Zealand abolished that penalty in 1989. After Tarrant’s lack of any expression of remorse, Mander said that while rehabilitation must always be considered, “I remain unmoved.”
It was short, like the videos that took over the world. But the three-month tenure of Kevin Mayer as TikTok’s CEO was as exciting as any of the short video-sharing plat-form’s challenges. In a letter to employees, Mayer announced he was stepping down with a “heavy heart” amid a political environment that’s put the company at the center of mounting conflict over trade and security between the U.S. and China. He said he expects his job “will look very different” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s campaign to ban the app stateside if a U.S. company doesn’t take over American operations.
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Well you're in luck. The chairs are flipped – your favorite host, Carlos Watson is going to be the one answering the questions this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America. So make sure you tune in to hear about Carlos’ favorite interview so far, plus a special announcement about a celebrity guest coming up later this week. Watch at 8:45 a.m. ET/PT.
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It was great TV. That’s partly because some protagonists didn’t realize millions would be watching. Some of the new American citizens of color President Trump arranged to be sworn in for the Republican National Convention told The New York Times they didn’t know of their fame until friends told them. “I’m a star,” mused Abdul Samad, 44, from Ghana, whose love for America was strengthened by Obamacare’s coverage of his kidney treatment. Last night’s convention events featured Vice President Mike Pence accepting the RNC’s nomination from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, and mingling with Trump — among crowd members who told reporters they’d not been tested for the coronavirus.
The Impossible Burger that Burger King is buying by the truckload needs coconuts. The fruit’s oil is vital to making the meat substitute, along with a host of other products. But competition with environmentally damaging palm oil has depressed prices in the source nations of Indonesia and the Philippines, OZY reports in a new investigation in partnership with the Pulitzer Foundation. That means small farmers can’t afford to grow them — or replace aging coconut trees. Aid projects are helping farmers make high-value products like virgin oil, but they’ll need to get a lot bigger to save the industry.
3. CDC Pressured to Loosen Virus Testing Guidelines
What you don’t know can’t hurt the campaign. So it seems the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telegraphing by changing pandemic testing guidelines — without notice on Monday and reportedly under White House pressure. The agency dropped its recommendation that even asymptomatic contacts of infected people should be screened for the coronavirus. Top administration pandemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is worried the change conveys “the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern.” They are just guidelines, so blue states like New York and California have said they’ll keep testing regardless of symptoms.
“Be relentless.” That’s what 29-year-old Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, who goes by nonbinary pronouns they/them, had posted above their desk while writing their novel The Discomfort of Evening. And yesterday the novel — already a bestseller in the Netherlands — won the International Booker Prize, making Rijneveld its youngest recipient. The author, whose book is a primer on growing up in a grief-stricken family, urges people to “write, read, win, lose, love each other, but be relentless in this.” And Rijneveld’s hope for the future? That the writer’s parents, whose stories are reflected in the book “will read it one day and be proud.”
It’s not business as usual. The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted last night’s first-round playoff game against the Orlando Magic to protest last weekend’s Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin. “Some things are bigger than basketball,” explained Alex Lasry, the Bucks’ senior vice president, in a tweet. “We’re fed up.” Then Wednesday’s other two games in Orlando’s pandemic bubble, Houston vs. Oklahoma City and LA Lakers vs. Portland, were postponed when players refused to participate. Players of pro baseball and soccer are joining the protests, threatening to end sports’ post-lockdown revival.