In 2013, 70% of Americans held positive perceptions of race relations. That number dropped to around 50% from 2015 through 2018, and fell even further (to 44%) in Gallup’s most recent poll conducted in June and July. (Historical chart)
Other Polls A CBS News historical poll in June found that Americans’ perceptions of the country’s progress against discrimination are at their lowest point since 1996, with 56% holding positive views.
According to FiveThirtyEight, recent polls show a large gap in how Black and White Americans understand race relations. Take their quiz.
🤦♀️🤦🤦♂️We messed up… yesterday, we mistakenly referred to the victor of the Mass. Democratic Senate primary as Sen. Ed Malarkey, instead of Sen. Ed Markey (a senator for 8 years and representative for the prior 36 years). We are strengthening our fact-check & editorial process for breaking news to ensure this does not happen again. Many thanks to Shameka from MA for bringing this to our attention!
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
Germany Identifies Russian Poison
According to German lab results, Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the Russian government to explain Navalny’s situation, which she described as “attempted murder.”
More: Novichok is the same agent used in the 2018 attack of 66-year-old former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, who were found unresponsive on a park bench in the UK. Read more here.
New Zealand is experiencing ongoing cyberattacks on an unprecedented scale, the country’s justice minister said on Wednesday. Officials said the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks target everything from the nation’s stock market to its weather service, and that tracking down the perpetrators will be difficult.
💰Raising The Ante… Joe Biden raised a record $364M in August, according to his campaign. Pres. Trump’s August fundraising numbers are not yet available, but he raised $127M in July compared to Biden’s $66M. (Source: NPR’s Money Tracker)
💬 Up For Debate… Fox News’s Chris Wallace (Sept. 29), C-SPAN’s Steve Scully (Oct. 15), and NBC’s Kristen Welker (Oct. 22) were chosen on Wednesday to moderate the three Presidential debates. USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 7.
⚾ RIP Mr. Met… former MLB pitcher Tom Seaver – widely regarded as the greatest player in NY Mets history – passed away on Monday at the age of 75.
United We Fall
United Airlines will cut more than 16k jobs as early as next month, roughly 17% of the company’s workforce as of late 2019. More than 7k additional employees opted to voluntarily separate from the company via buyouts, early retirements, and other optional programs.
More: The news comes a week after American Airlines announced plans to cut 19k jobs starting next month.
Skillz To Pay The Billz
Mobile gaming company Skillz announced a merger with the same special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that brought DraftKings to the public market earlier this year. Under the terms of the deal, which values Skillz at roughly $3.6B, the combined company is expected to begin trading on the NYSE before the end of the year.
Quick DraftKings note: Shares rose 8% on Wednesday after the company announced Michael Jordan would be joining as a special advisor to the board.
Aussie Recession In Session
The Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed on Wednesday that the country has fallen into its first recession in almost 30 years (defined by two consecutive quarters of negative growth). Australia’s April-to-June quarter – which saw GDP contract by a record 7% – marked the end of the longest-running growth streak in the developed world.
👑A Royal Proclamation… Prince Harry & Meghan Markle signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to create documentaries, feature films, scripted TV shows, and children’s series.
💸 ‘Til Debt Do Us Part… U.S. debt is projected to exceed the size of the entire economy by next year, its highest level since World War II.
🏎️ 🤤Lucid Dreaming… Lucid Motors released details of its upcoming Lucid Air electric sedan, which provides up to 1,080 HP with a quarter-mile time under ten seconds.
🚭 WSJ Exclusive: E-cigarette company Juul is reportedly planning a significant round of layoffs and considering pulling out of other countries to focus on the U.S., Canadian, & UK markets.
Making A Personal Connection
Last week, the Salinas Elementary School District of Salinas, CA, drew national criticism when a photo went viral on Instagram, depicting two of its students relying on the free WiFi from a Taco Bell to complete their schoolwork. Despite being just a one-hour drive from Silicon Valley – a hub of technological innovation – it was clear that the school system was struggling to meet virtual instruction demands during the pandemic.
After viewing the Instagram post and learning that the students, who are sisters, were facing eviction from their home, Jackie Lopez launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe for the persistent pupils, raising more than $130,000 for their family. The Salinas school district responded by equipping the family with a free WiFi hotspot.
Live And Learn
Miriam Schreiber, a native of Warsaw, Poland, was supposed to begin first grade in September 1939. Instead, seven-year-old Miriam, who is Jewish, was captured and sent to a slave labor camp in Siberia. After seven years in the camp, Miriam was liberated and moved to Hartford, CT, to begin her new life and family. She was never able to return to school.
But Miriam continued to learn. Already fluent in Polish and Yiddish when she arrived in America, Miriam went on to teach herself English, German, Hebrew, and Swedish. On August 16th, in recognition of her dedication to a lifetime of learning, Hartford’s New England Jewish Academy honored the now 88-year-old Miriam with a high school diploma.
No Baby Left Behind
Hundreds of residents evacuated Lake Charles, LA, last week as Hurricane Laura hurtled toward the region, wielding up to 135 mph winds as a colossal Category 4 storm. Despite the looming hurricane and mandatory evacuation order, 19 critical patients at the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital could not comply with the mandatory evacuation order – the babies in the NICU.
Unable to transfer the delicate infants – some born as early as 23 weeks – to suitable facilities before the arrival of the hurricane, 20 of the hospital’s heroic nurses stayed behind at the facility to take care of the children as the storm battered the building. Throughout the course of one harrowing night (in which the air conditioning and water both went out), the medical staff watched the newborns in shifts, successfully transferring the at-risk infants to safer facilities the following day.