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The unofficial start of fall is bringing new challenges in the fight against the coronavirus. Tens of thousands of students are returning to schools and college campuses this week, and as the weather gets cooler, large gatherings will move indoors, bringing an increase in exposure risk that top medical experts have long warned of. The Labor Day holiday also brought large crowds to beaches and other areas, increasing concern that we’ll soon see a spike in cases similar to the ones recorded after Memorial Day and July 4th festivities. President Trump is still touting the possibility that we’ll have a vaccine by Election Day in November — and medical experts are still pushing back, saying that deadline is all but impossible.
Racial justice protests have now been roiling in Portland, Oregon, for more than 100 straight days. The weekend’s demonstrations were mostly peaceful until someone reportedly threw fire bombs at police, prompting skirmishes and more than 50 arrests. It was a similar story in Rochester, New York, where protests over a fatal police encounter there in March began peacefully but ended with authorities dispersing the crowds with tear gas and pepper balls following incidents of vandalism and violence. A different kind of protest unfolded yesterday in Salem, Oregon. Supporters of President Trump marched on the Oregon State Capitol for an American Lives Matter rally, sparking conflicts with counter-protesters that ended with two arrests.
The eighth round of post-Brexit trade negotiations between the UK and the European Union starts today, and it won’t be pretty. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell EU negotiators that unless a deal is reached by mid-October, the UK will walk away from the table. Plus, the British government is reportedly set to release legislation that will undermine some of the legal force of the original Brexit agreement. If these things happen, the UK would run into the December 31 trade deadline without a deal. Johnson has said that would actually be good for the country, but that’s definitely not a popular opinion. As for the EU, it’s warning the UK that it can’t back out on Brexit promises already made.
4. Election 2020
We have less than two months before the US election, and both President Trump and Joe Biden will be on the ground this week to mobilize voters. The President will head to Florida, North Carolina and Michigan. He’s also battling backlash after launching a public attack against US military leaders, accusing them of waging wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturers. Biden will also visit Michigan this week. Both candidates will mark the anniversary of the September 11th attacks in Pennsylvania. Right now, Biden holds an 8-point lead in an average of national polls. But as Americans well know, anything can happen on Election Day.
China has imposed new visa restrictions on foreign journalists working there for US news organizations as animosity between the countries grows. Several journalists say when they tried to renew their credentials, they were given temporary ones with significantly shorter visa periods. The US isn’t the only country caught in the crackdown. Two Australian journalists working in China have left the country after they were questioned by police and forced to seek the protection of their own government. Now that they’ve left, Australia has no working journalists in China for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Denver is under a winter weather advisory two days after the city hit 101 degrees Fahrenheit
Hey, Colorado … y’all OK?
A $110 million sewage treatment plant will be named after comedian John Oliver
Amazon is banning foreign seed sales in the US after all those mystery seed packages were sent to US households
A friendly reminder: Don’t plant seeds that were randomly shipped to you from another country! It could be bad for the environment!
A killer whale that grieved its dead calf for 17 days is a mother again
We love a happy new beginning.
About 1,000 people gathered in San Francisco to celebrate ‘Burning Man’ culture, and the mayor says it put lives at risk
One of the central tenets of Burning Man is to leave the celebration area exactly as you found it, which is hard to do if you accidentally end up spreading a deadly pandemic-level virus around. Just a thought.
That’s the proportion of Americans that actually got a flu shot in 2019. With everything going on this year, medical experts say it’s more important than ever to get it done.
“Stop having these stupid parties … No one cares but you.”
Jenna Karvunidis, a blogger who is largely credited with starting the gender reveal party phenomenon. She condemned the trend amid news that the El Dorado fire raging in California was started by an explosive used for a gender reveal party. That blaze has grown to nearly 10,000 acres. Overall, a huge spate of wildfires across the state has burned 2 million acres and caused power outages for more than 170,000.
Check your local forecast here>>>
Relax. Center yourself.
It’s going to be another busy week. But for the next 30 seconds, don’t think about that. Just think about a cat getting a head massage. (Click here to view.)