Good morning and happy Friday. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend. 😎🌴
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More Chinese Internment Camps Unearthed
An Australian government think tank discovered with satellite imagery that China has built nearly 400 internment camps in the Xinjiang region since 2017, over 100 more than previous investigations have uncovered.
A deeper dive… The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) identified more than 380 facilities where Uighurs and people from other Muslim minorities are detained. Chinese officials initially denied the existence of such camps in Aug. 2018, then later described them as vocational training and re-education sites.
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NY Will Review Each Approved Vaccine
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state health officials would separately review every federally approved coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. Cuomo stated he made this decision out of distrust towards the federal government and its handling of the virus. (Watch his full remarks)
President Trump said he will announce his pick to replace late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tomorrow. The president has reportedly narrowed his list of potential nominees to five women. (See the reported shortlists from the WSJ, NYT, & AP)
More: President Trump officially unveiled a new list of 20 potential Supreme Court nominees earlier this month, adding to the names he had released in 2017.
Authorities arrested a suspect accused of shooting two Louisville police officers late Wednesday in the aftermath of a grand jury announcement regarding the Breonna Taylor case. The officers suffered non life-threatening injuries. Thousands gathered for demonstrations across the country in NYC, Boston, Washington, D.C., and LA, among others. In Louisville, police arrested 127 demonstrators Wednesday night.
Worth Noting: President Trump is expected to sign a series of executive orders aimed at protecting people with pre-existing conditions and preventing surprise medical bills. Dig deeper.
🐦Flying The Coop… Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the head of the Vatican’s saint-making office, resigned suddenly on Thursday and renounced his rights as a cardinal amid a financial scandal.
A Whole New World
Amazon debuted an array of home speaker and security devices at a virtual event on Thursday, including:
A new line of Echo devices, including a new Echo ($99), Echo Dot ($49 or $59), and Echo Show 10 ($249).
A new Ring home security drone that can be scheduled to fly preset paths (called the Always Home Cam), along with three different devices targeted at car owners.
An upgraded Fire TV Stick ($40) to go with the Fire TV Stick Lite ($30).
A new game-streaming platform, called Luna, that will compete with Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud.
Jobless Report Card
According to the Labor Department, another 870k Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, slightly higher than the week before (revised up by 6k to 866k). The largest increases in unemployment claims came from Indiana (+2k), Kansas (+1.9k), and Illinois (+1.9k), while the largest decreases came from California (-17k), Texas (-16k), and Louisiana (-8.4k).
A Different App-roach
An advocacy group formed by a coalition of companies including Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group (owner of Tinder, Hinge, & other dating apps) made its public debut on Thursday. The D.C.-based nonprofit, called the Coalition for App Fairness, will push for legal and regulatory changes to how companies are allowed to operate app stores. A coalition spokesperson said the group was not created in response to Epic’s ongoing legal battle with Apple and Google over Fortnite.
Extra: Per the WSJ (free), the Blue Cross Blue Shield group negotiated a tentative $2.7B settlement in a sweeping antitrust suit filed on behalf of customers, pending board approval of all 36 BCBS insurers.
🏈 The Pac is Back… the Pac-12 announced plans to play a seven-game conference football season beginning November 6.
This summer, when his high school announced that it would transition to online instruction for the foreseeable future, Colby Samide of Purcellville, VA, realized that he would need a reliable place in his house to study and focus on his virtual learning. With home office items in limited supply, the high school junior – who took up woodworking just last year – built a desk for himself. Colby quickly realized that he could help other sequestered students do the same.
At 89-years-old, Derlin Newey of Roy, UT, works 30 hours a week as a pizza delivery man for his local Papa John’s because he cannot afford to pay his mobile home bills on Social Security alone. Despite the strenuous nature of the work, Derlin completes his job with a smile, fulfilling each order with his catchphrase, “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”
Recently, the octogenarian captured the hearts of the Valdez family, who now ask for Derlin by name when placing an order from Papa John’s. Convinced that the delightful delivery man should not have to work so hard at his advanced age, the Valdezes took to TikTok to ask for donations for Derlin from their 53,000 followers. This Tuesday, after an outpouring of online support, the Valdezes gave Derlin a delivery of their own – a check for $12k. (Video)
A Whale Of A Time
Each year, from April to September, Australia’s eastern coastline is home to a multitude of migrating humpback whales. These creatures, who spend the spring and summer feeding in the region, head to warmer, sub-tropical waters in the fall to prepare for their mating season. However, earlier this month, three whales making this epic journey got confused and became stranded in Australia’s East Alligator River, which is infested with vicious saltwater crocodiles.
Although two of the whales were able to exit the area successfully, a lone humpback remained trapped in the dangerous river, where crocodiles are known to attack and kill prey – including humans – at speeds of up to 40 feet per second. This Monday, Australian authorities joyfully announced that the humpback had finally escaped the river and made it safely into the nearby Van Diemen Gulf.
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