Good morning. Be sure to check out the Comet NEOWISE before it disappears at the end of the month – not to be seen again for another 6,800 years (how to find it). Pro tip: The comet will be at its closest to Earth tonight.
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.”
Race In America
Protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd have been ongoing for nearly two months and put a spotlight on race in America. Today we’ll dive into public opinion polls on race relations across the U.S.
Fifty-seven percent of U.S. voters support the protests and demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd, while 32% oppose, and 9% don’t have feelings either way.
Seventy-one percent of Americans believe race relations are either very or fairly bad, a 16% increase since February.
Another Economist/YouGov poll found that 53% of Americans think the protests are dividing the country, with 15% believing they are uniting it, and 19% thinking protests haven’t made any difference.
On a Positive Note Despite concerns about the country’s current state, some polls show Americans are hopeful that the movement will spur change and improve race relations.
The Economist/YouGov poll reported that 43% of White Americans and 45% of Black Americans predict that race relations will be better in the future, compared to 20% who believe it will worsen.
According to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll in June, 59% of Black Americans believe the movement will bring significant change, and 54% think it’s likely that police treatment of Black people will improve.
What’s Next? Across the country, legislation is still in the works to improve race relations and combat police brutality.
The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on June 25, which, among other things, would end the doctrine of qualified immunity and ban chokeholds nationwide.
A similar Senate bill was rejected by Democrats, who felt it did not sufficiently address systemic racism in policing. The Senate’s bill would incentivize state and local police departments to make changes (including limiting the use of chokeholds), but would not alter qualified immunity.
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Fourteen states have an estimated ICU bed capacity above 70% according to HHS data, led by Rhode Island (85.2%), Alabama (84.0%), and Nevada (81.3%). Check out your state.
Major virus news: EU leaders approved a ~$2 trillion COVID-19 recovery plan following a 4-day summit.
More major virus news: The CDC released data on Tuesday indicating COVID-19 cases could be 6 to 24 times higher than reported in certain areas.
FBI Arrests Ohio Lawmakers In Bribery Scheme
FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others on Tuesday in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme. The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two Ohio nuclear power plants. The federal complaint alleges a years-long bribery campaign to support Householder’s bid for speaker, and then pass the nuclear bailout legislation with his help.
President Trump signed a memo yesterday stating it will be the “policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status under the Immigration and Nationality Act.” The move aims to exclude undocumented immigrants from being taken into account when deciding how many House seats are assigned to each state and how the congressional districts are drawn.
More: The memo did not specify how undocumented immigrants would be identified. Last summer, the Supreme Court blocked an attempt by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Worth Noting: The DOJ on Tuesday formally accused two Chinese hackers of attempting to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from the U.S. The indictment also alleges the two hackers stole hundreds of millions of dollars in information from companies across the globe, dating back more than ten years.
Also Worth Noting: The British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published a report on Tuesday regarding Russian interference in British politics. Read it here.
The Coronavirus Effect
Microsoft subsidiary LinkedIn will cut ~960 jobs (about 6% of its global workforce) due to COVID-19’s impact on demand for its products.
The NFL Players Association and league owners late Tuesday agreed to eliminate all four weeks of preseason games while also reducing the size of training camp rosters.
Walmartplans to close all stores on Thanksgiving to give workers the day off, a break from its tradition of starting in-store Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.
Going Once, Going Twice… Sold!
On Tuesday, eBay agreed to sell its classified-ads business to Norwegian company Adevinta ASA in a cash-and-stock deal worth $9.2 billion. The deal comes after activist investors have pushed eBay to divest itself of businesses outside the company’s core. Earlier this year, eBay finalized the $4.05 billion sale of StubHub to Swiss competitor Viagogo.
Scout Out And About
Amazon announced that Scout, its six-wheeled delivery robot, is now undergoing trials in Atlanta, GA, and Franklin, TN. Amazon first launched Scout in Jan. 2019 in a single neighborhood in Washington, and later added a larger site in Irvine, CA, last August.
More: According to a recent analysis, Amazon was the top ad spender in the U.S. in 2019, spending nearly $7 billion. The rest of the top ten.
Worth Noting: Twitter on Tuesday announced it removed over 7,000 QAnon accounts and limited the reach of other content relating to the conspiracy theory.
Safe AND Sound
In 2002, Dr. Brian Travers lost his hearing due to a rare bone condition, and for the past 18 years, he has relied on reading lips during conversations. This spring, as people began covering their mouths with masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Brian’s ability to communicate with others was suddenly obstructed, making him feel isolated and overlooked.
Determined to help make safety measures accessible for people with hearing impairments, Brian learned how to sew to create unique face masks with clear plastic panels at the mouth. The demand is so high for Brian’s liberating creations that the physician sews eight to 10 masks an hour, fulfilling orders through his new company, Anchor Made Design.
Just Keep Swimming
When Argentina entered lockdown in March, swimmer Sebastian Galleguillo’s local pool shut down, forcing the deaf athlete to transition his training regime to land. After four months out of the water, Sebastian, who is training for the 2021 Deaflympics in Brazil, worried that his body was becoming rigid from the lack of proper training.
With the help of his father, Sebastian collected scrap sheets of plastic, metal drums, and 100 gallons of water to construct a makeshift swimming pool in his backyard. Since it is currently winter in Argentina, the temporary tub, which measures 15 meters long by 4 meters wide, is heated by a wood-burning stove.
Happily Ever Rafter
A Canadian outdoorsman named Justin was rafting down the Red Deer River in Saskatchewan this month when he heard a clamor from what he assumed was a dog fight. After a brief investigation, Justin traced the disturbing noise to a drowning coyote pup in the murky water.
The rafter reached into the river to pluck the coyote up and, after finding that the animal was unresponsive, performed a modified Heimlich maneuver until it resumed breathing. Over the next ten days, Justin nursed the pup – which he named YipYip – back to health as he continued his adventure, finally delivering the animal to the care of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan.
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⚡ Electricity In The Air… in a solar energy breakthrough, a group of U.S. and Australian researchers have discovered a way to transform ‘invisible’ low-spectrum sunlight into molecules that can be converted into electricity.
🛣️ The Road To Curbing Emissions… an MIT theoretical study suggests that small changes to U.S. roadway paving practices could potentially eliminate a half-percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, at little to no cost.
The word ‘set’ had a whopping 430 definitions (more than 60,000 words) in the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), published in 1989. However, language doesn’t stand still – the Third Edition of the OED won’t be out until 2037, but in a 2011 interview its chief editor said the word ‘run’ had overtaken ‘set’ for the top spot.