Good morning. Have you ever wondered what Mars really looks like? Take a peek (and in 4k, no less).
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”
-Carl R. Rogers
U.S. Receives Mystery Mailings
Americans across six states have reported receiving unsolicited mailings of seeds from China in recent days.
A deeper dive… At least four states – WA, VA, KS, & LA – have issued official warnings urging residents not to plant the unidentified seeds, some of which came with jewelry labels or in white pouches labeled “China Post.”
The government warnings say the seeds – which don’t appear “directly dangerous” – may be invasive and could harm livestock or introduce diseases to local plants. State agriculture officials encourage residents to report them if received in the mail.
The Kansas Department of Agricultureinstructed recipients not to open sealed seeds, while Washington officials urged residents to await USDA instructions.
Hundreds of U.K. gardeners – who purchased seeds online in the past – have received similar mystery packages of seeds from China and Malaysia labeled as ear studs.
Why is this happening? The motive behind these mailings is unclear, but there are a few different explanations:
The packages have sparked concerns from recipients about potential drug smuggling, or efforts to spread harmful, invasive species across the country.
The most popular theory – backed by the Better Business Bureau and several local officials – is that the packages are part of a “brushing scam” by online vendors to boost product ratings. By shipping an inexpensive item to a random recipient, scammers can submit positive reviews disguised as that verified owner.
Such scams – largely originating from Asia – have been prevalent on e-commerce websites for several years, according to industry experts.
What’s Next? Official USDA directions regarding the mailings are still pending. For now, recipients can report and keep the seeds and packaging or hand them over to local authorities, who may use them as future evidence.
So… what are people saying?
Americans Are Still Receiving Unordered Packages From Asian E-Criminals
With the introduction of the GOP bill, talks will begin in earnest with House Democrats to come together on a bill that can reach President Trump’s desk. Several major aid programs (including the eviction moratorium and extra unemployment) are set to expire this Friday.
A ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists began at midnight on Monday, ending 6-years of hostilities in Eastern Ukraine. The peace accord, negotiated last week, is one of several initiatives to end fighting that began in 2014 after pro-Russian President Victor Yanukovych was ousted from office.
Worth Noting: Late congressman John Lewis – a former civil rights activist who passed away July 17 – arrived in Washington yesterday to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
The Coronavirus Effect
Modernabegan final-stage testing of its vaccine candidate on Monday, a day after the company announced $472M in additional funding from the U.S. government. Likewise, Pfizer & BioNTechstarted a late-stage human trial of its candidate yesterday.
Googleextended its COVID-19 work-from-home order through June 2021.
Tenet will debut internationally on Aug. 26, with select U.S. cities receiving access to the film over Labor Day weekend.
Last week, Under Armour and two executives (founder Kevin Plank and CFO David Bergman) received Wells notices from the SEC related to a previously disclosed probe by the agency. A Wells notice, which indicates that the SEC is considering enforcement action, doesn’t necessarily mean that Under Armour or its executives violated the law.
More: The SEC’s prior investigation looked into whether Under Armour’s accounting practices misled investors between Q3 2015 and Q4 2016.
Delay Of Game
The MLB canceled two baseball games on Monday after 14 players and coaches in the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19. The Marlins’ home opener against the Baltimore Orioles was canceled, as well as a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees (the Phillies were the last team to play the Marlins). League officials said there are no plans to suspend or cancel the season.
Worth Noting: Following Walmart’s announcement last week, Target on Monday said it will likewise close on Thanksgiving Day to give workers the day off.
Climbing Ms. Daisy
A St. Bernard named Daisy was hiking with her owners on Sunday near the summit of Scafell Pike – England’s tallest mountain – when the dog began experiencing leg pain and suddenly collapsed. With a descent of 3,000 feet remaining in the strenuous hike, the 121-pound pooch was conscious but refused to move.
In a rescue operation that took five hours, 16 emergency responders of the local Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team found Daisy and carried her down the mountain to safety. Although Daisy’s breed is famous for rescuing stranded mountaineers, it was the delighted dog who descended the peak on a stretcher as the tough team members traversed rocky slopes and even a waterfall.
Never Going Out Of Style
Husband and wife Chang Wan-ji and Hsu Sho-er have co-owned Wansho Laundry in Taiwan for more than 60 years, providing dry-cleaning services that are so exceptional that some clients continue to bring them laundry even after they move away. Business has been slow for the couple – who are in their mid-80s – since the pandemic began, leading their grandson, Reef, to worry that the longtime launderers were growing bored.
On June 27th, Reef helped Chang and Hsu launch an Instagram account featuring photoshoots of the two octogenarians in stylish clothes abandoned by customers who never returned. The account, which has gone viral, shows the playful poses of Chang and Hsu, who feel youthful and confident in their trendy outfits.
Long Road To Recovery
Dr. Grant Lashley of Lafayette, LA, was working on the front lines of the pandemic as an emergency room physician when he contracted COVID-19 in April. Shortly after, the 50-year-old doctor suffered a COVID-induced stroke that left him unable to walk. After recovering from the virus, Dr. Lashley was transferred to the TIRR Memorial Hospital in Houston to begin intensive physical therapy.
On Friday, after 96 days of rehabilitation, Dr. Lashley walked out of the hospital and reunited with his wife and three young children. The resilient physician, who was aided only by a walker, is optimistic about his recovery and encourages all who are battling the virus to pursue progress one step at a time.
Attention All Tea Lovers:
Here at Cup & Leaf, we’re always on the hunt for new tea to sip and fresh knowledge to share.
We started Cup & Leaf to create an inviting space where experts and novices alike can enjoy our wide selection of tea, without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We write about tea on our blog and sell it on our online store.
Cup & Leaf is your one-stop-shop for all things tea, especially if you are:
📱 First Class Glass… tech company Corning has announced the next generation of Gorilla Glass (used to protect a majority of smartphone screens), promising double the scratch resistance of the previous version.
Time After Time
Who holds the Guinness World Record for most time spent on U.S. television?
A) Alex Trebek B) Steve Harvey C) Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy) D) Regis Philbin
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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