Monthly Archives: June 2020

LBN Examiner 6/28/2020


A Minneapolis community, just a few miles away from where George Floyd died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, pledged to “check its privilege,” allowing hundreds of transients and homeless individuals to take up residents on their front lawns and pledging not to call the police to handle incidents of drug abuse and mental illness. Now that same town’s residents are concerned things have gotten out of hand. Crime is rampant and the homeless encampment now has more than 300 people. The New York Times reports that Powderhorn Park residents — mostly left-leaning white women — were instrumental in declaring their town a “safe zone” for the underprivileged and pressing the town’s residents to agree to a pact not to call the police or other public safety resources if they felt threatened. After all, their opposition to crimes, including property damage and theft, was born of white privilege.

“In light of Floyd’s police-involved death,” the New York Post added, “residents there have vowed to avoid calling the cops, feeling that doing so could put people of color in danger. But now with hundreds of outsiders flooding the park — drawing in more car traffic, including drug dealers, and resulting in at least two overdoses — the neighbors are facing a moral dilemma.” In preparation for the project, the women “promised to ignore any property damage, including to their own homes, and filed for a block party permit to limit cars in the neighborhood,” the Post continues. Instead, the women agreed to call a community service organization, the American Indian Movement, to handle incidents of violence or potential violence, and to help constructively quell concerns of mental illness and drug use.


Bottled water manufactured by Whole Foods and sold in most of its US stores and on Amazon contains potentially harmful levels of arsenic, according to new tests by Consumer Reports (CR). CR recently tested dozens of bottled water brands and found that Starkey Spring Water, introduced by Whole Foods in 2015, had concerning levels of arsenic, ranging from 9.49 to 9.56 parts per billion (PPB), at least three times the level of every other brand tested. Federal regulations require manufacturers to limit the amount of arsenic, a potentially dangerous heavy metal, in bottled water to 10 PPB. CR experts believe that level does not adequately protect public health. CR also tested samples of Starkey Spring Water in 2019, finding levels of arsenic that approached or exceeded the federal limit: three samples ranged from 9.48 to 9.86 PPB of arsenic; a fourth registered 10.1 PPB. Those results are cited in two pending consumer lawsuits over Starkey’s arsenic content.


U.S. Attorney General Andrew Lelling announced that six former eBay employees are being charged for an extensive intimidation campaign against a Boston-area couple who reportedly criticized the company in their online newsletter. The charges: cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.  The specifics: Mailing the couple a Halloween mask of a bloody pig face, boxes of live cockroaches and spiders, and a book about surviving the loss of a partner. Doxing the couple by posting their address on Craigslist and soliciting sexual partners. There’s more. The harassment was “a systematic campaign fueled by the resources of a Fortune 500 company to emotionally and psychologically terrorize this middle aged couple,” Lelling said. If you’re thinking “that’s just a few rotten apples”…Lelling counters that given the involvement of multiple higher-ups (including, ironically, a former head of safety and security), the harassment can’t be written off as “rogue” behavior. For its part, eBay investigated the suspicious activity last August following an FBI tip and fired all six employees a month later.


Hollywood and business mogul Steve Bing died by suicide following a yearslong battle with depression and financial woes after blowing much of his $600 million fortune, friends said.
Bing, 55, died after jumping from his 27th-floor apartment in LA’s Century City on Monday. He was a notable philanthropist and Hollywood investor, including as a producer for the Sylvester Stallone remake “Get Carter.” Bing dropped out of Stanford after receiving a $600 million inheritance from his grandfather, a real estate developer. He is perhaps best known for being the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s son, Damian, born in 2002. Bing initially denied he was his father, but a DNA test proved otherwise.

While the Hollywood community remains shaken by his death, those close to Bing say his jet-set life was enviable on the surface — with close friendships with President Bill Clinton and billionaire Ron Burkle and relationships with a host of beautiful women — but in reality, he was very troubled. One friend, who asked not to be named, said, “Steve was the most charming, caring and generous guy you could ever meet. Yes, he liked beautiful women, but it never worked out. He has gone through a dark time for years. He talked about battling mental illness, bipolar disorder. His close friends are devastated about his death but, sadly, not surprised.”

The source added, “Steve did have a drug problem, but it was the mental issues that tormented him. He would often disappear for long periods of time. He didn’t have a strong relationship with his kids, and he was sad about that. “And, as surprising as this sounds, he had financial problems in the end. He made a lot of ill-advised investments. His latest film with Warren Beatty went upside down, and many people took him for a lot of money. People imagine it is impossible to run through $600 million, but he did. He was too generous.” A second source added, “Steve recently sold his jet, his home, and was very depressed.”


A coalition of conservative leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warning that the congressional spending in the coronavirus must stop because it’s getting very close to $10 trillion, which is more than the government spent fighting the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I and II combined.  The Save Our Country coalition, which is made up of conservative leaders, called on Trump and Republican congressional leaders to “Stop the Spending.” The coalition consists of: Stephen Moore, co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity; Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks; Jim DeMint, chairman of Conservative Partnership Institute; Lisa Nelson, CEO of American Legislative Exchange Council; Arthur Laffer, Laffer Associates; Casey Mulligan, University of Chicago; Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots; Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; William Bennett, former Reagan cabinet member; Brent Bozell, founder and president of Media Research Center; Scott Garrett, former member of Congress; Bob McEwan, Center for National Policy; Ed Meese, former Attorney General of the United States; Jim Miller, former Office of Management and Budget; and William Walton, Center for National Policy.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, they released new budget projections showing government spending is headed to 51 percent of GDP for the first time ever. The federal government has already spent trillions in stimulus funds, and the White House and Congress are considering plans to spend at least $1 to 3 trillion more. “Congress has already spent more than $2 trillion on CoronaVirus relief packages. The irresponsible Pelosi bill that passed the House a week ago would raise that spending total to $5 trillion, which is on top of the $4.71 trillion that Congress already authorized,” the coalition wrote in the letter. “We are getting very close to an unthinkable $10,000,000,0000,000 (ten trillion) federal budget, which is more money in one single year than the United States government spent, adjusted for inflation … to fight the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I and World War II – combined,” they wrote.


Saquon Barkley, New York Giants running back, was as strong as expected after he was picked second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Barkley secured the backfield of the Giants, and offered the squad a real running back workhorse who could excel on all three offensive downs. The young player has 1,000-yard seasons back-to-back and to his credit a Pro Bowl. Last season Barkley ran for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns. He missed some games due to injuries but managed to get 52 catches for 438 yards receiving. With the Giants improving their offensive line and a second season under quarterback Daniel Jones, could Barkley be in for another strong season? The Giants have a chance to feature Barkley more effectively this season, according to NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. As the former NFL head coach recently proposed on NFL Total Access it might contribute to a potential MVP campaign. “Six running backs have made MVP in the last 25 years, but they did something special like rush for 2,000 yards or break the rushing record like LT did with 28 rushing touchdowns,” Mariucci said. “But Saquon is versatile. He had 91 receptions and a bunch of yards rushing as a rookie. He’s going to go over 2,000 yards again. He’s got a chance. If that team can get better and have a winning season, Saquon Barkley.”

Barkley provides a rare mix of creativity that is both receiving and running. He is a good check-down option, managing 25-30 touches a game. The Giants have in for Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, a potential offensive coordinator. In Houston, Garrett is sitting back on Ezekiel Elliott for a parallel three-down. He likes to establish the running game and build off the momentum of the offense. Barkley might be a key part of helping effectively run Garrett’s offensive scheme. Barkley understands how Garrett wants to execute his system after having played for two seasons against the Cowboys. He has also confirmed that he looks forward to participating in the system. “I played against [Garrett] for two years,” Barkley said. “I know how he likes to use his running backs. There’s only so much Zeke can tell me that I haven’t seen with my own eyes. Zeke had a lot of success, but it wasn’t only Zeke. It was multiple players — all the tight ends and wide receivers, Dak [Prescott] had a great year and career so far. We can fit that mold with the talent we have.”I think it’s been going well.”


$1.4 billion worth of stimulus checks was sent to more than 1 million dead Americans, a congressional watchdog said yesterday. That happened partially because the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which was in charge of sending out stimulus checks, didn’t have access to the Social Security Administration’s set of death records.  So who is this watchdog that would dare hold the government accountable? The Government Accountability Office (GAO), which released a 403-page report evaluating Washington’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conclusion: room for improvement. The GAO knocked the Small Business Administration for dragging its feet in complying with its investigation and for not addressing fraud risks stemming from the Paycheck Protection Program. It also said the CDC’s initial COVID-19 tests had “accuracy and reliability issues” that hurt the U.S.’ early response. As the economic recovery takes shape (or doesn’t), there’s going to be an intensifying battle on Capitol Hill over the next stimulus package. The GAO will expect better oversight.


“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain


A new study ranked New Jersey the worst patriotic state in America. WalletHub released its 2020’s Most Patriotic States in America survey on Monday morning. WalletHub used 13 categories to break down which states showed the most patriotism including, the state’s military enlistees, the number of adults who voted in 2016 and volunteer rate. New Jersey came in No. 50 for overall patriotism and No. 49 in veterans per capita. Pennsylvania ranked No. 37 overall, and Delaware came in No. 31. WalletHub says many Americans feel their patriotism has been affected by the recent protests against police brutality and many find it hard to celebrate a country that continues to have racist incidents persist.

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One positive side effect of coronavirus restrictions — fewer car crashes — is creating a negative side effect … longer waits for organ donations. The data makes it clear … deaths from car accidents are the biggest single source of organs for transplant — 33% to be exact — according to the United Network For Organ Sharing, which runs the country’s organ transplant system. But, ever since the novel coronavirus started the wave of shelter-in-place orders across the country … car crashes, and deaths from them, are in steep decline. In California, for instance, car fatalities were down 50% during the first 3 weeks of safer-at-home orders, according to a study by UC Davis. Similarly, drowning deaths are also way down … a whopping 80%.


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 Americans aren’t spending squat during the pandemic. The U.S. savings rate rose to 33% in April, the highest level on record and it’s not even close. At the same time, consumer spending fell 13.6% (also a record). There are a few reasons why this happened: There’s nothing to spend money on. Office work, events, sports, conferences, vacations, weddings, birthday parties, and more were all canceled. Stimulus checks of up to $1,200 hit millions of households, driving up personal income to record levels. With unemployment at 13.3%, Americans are feeling nervous about their job prospects. But not all Americans saved equally
Findings from a Harvard-based research group show that high-income Americans are responsible for most of the reduction in consumer spending. Lower-income Americans, on the other hand, are now spending nearly as much as they did pre-pandemic—but they’re suffering as the rich hoard their wealth. Almost 70% of low-wage workers working in the highest-rent ZIP codes lost their jobs, the researchers note. Why it matters: It further confirms that this recession is one of the weirdest ever. In past downturns people stopped spending on big-ticket items like cars, while keeping up their spending on basic services. That’s flipped this time around, because many of those services (like haircuts) require in-person interactions that can lead to the spread of the virus.

Looking ahead
The research is telling us something very important: even if government restrictions were lifted, Americans still wouldn’t be spending at pre-pandemic levels out of fear for their health. Which means the NFL could announce tomorrow it’s allowing fans to attend games this season and not many would bite. 

Bottom line: Consumer spending drives nearly 70% of U.S. GDP, so an elevated savings rate could be detrimental to the economy in the long-run. After all, writes the Carnegie Endowment, one person’s spending is another person’s income. 



  Comedian Sarah Silverman, along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.



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LBN Examiner 6/21/2020


Over half of Democrats support the movement to defund the police, according to a new poll published Friday. Just 34% of Americans support defunding the police, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll. This includes 55% of Democrats, but just 9% of Republicans. Support for the movement also cuts across racial lines, with 57% of African Americans supporting the movement to defund the police, compared to 42% of Hispanics, and 26% of Whites. The poll has a margin of error of roughly 4.2%. Calls to defund the police have escalated in recent weeks after four

Minnesota police officers were charged in connection with George Floyd’s death. A “veto-proof” majority of the Minneapolis City Council now supports defunding the city’s police department in the wake of Floyd’s death. Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said during a CNN appearance Monday that the desire to call the police during an emergency situation “comes from a place of privilege. Some prominent Democratic politicians, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have signaled support for the movement to defund the police, while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said he does not support the idea.

A majority of Americans disagree with the call to defund the police and the proposed reallocation of funding, a national poll taken amid demonstrations for George Floyd found.  Almost two-thirds of Americans are against defunding law enforcement while 34% agree with the movement, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday. When asked about reducing the police budget to put resources toward other health and social programs, 60% of Americans opposed the idea while 39% supported it.

In a 2015 Ted Talk, Bill Gates declared, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus.”  He probably should have said “viruses.” As humans crisscross the globe with increasing frequency, dive deeper into natural ecosystems, and contribute to climate change, medical experts warn it’s basically inevitable we’ll experience more viral outbreaks.  “You asked what keeps me up at night,” CDC Director Robert Redfield told a House committee. “I know it’s a pandemic flu.” So what have we learned from COVID-19? That we need to do a lot better next time around. Here are a few proposed solutions from medical experts… More funding: Redfield told Congress that his agency didn’t have the money to fulfill the “core capabilities of public health.” The UN says we need to spend $11 billion more to fight global pandemics. Reforming the WHO:Global cooperation is critical to fighting a pandemic, but critics argue the World Health Organization has serious flaws in its design. Strengthening the medical supply chainto ensure critical drugs are available when needed. More surveillance:As David Ecker writes in Scientific American, “The best way to prevent pandemics is to apply the same principles as we use to prevent catastrophic forest fires: survey aggressively for smaller brush fires and stomp them out immediately.”


Nearly three-fourths of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a poll that they are considering leaving the force amid a police reform bill recently passed by the D.C. Council. The proposal would require law enforcement body camera footage to be released to the public more quickly following a police-related shooting and would restrict when officers can use lethal force. It also would prohibit the department from purchasing military-style equipment from the federal government. Local lawmakers stopped an attempt by one council member at large who proposed to limit the size of the force and cap it at 3,500 from its current size of 3,863. However, several hundred on the force revealed to the D.C. Police Union, which represents 3,600 Washington officers, detectives, and sergeants, that they are looking to leave anyway. According to the survey of 600 local law enforcement members, of the 71% considering leaving, 25% may retire earlier than planned, 35% are seeking jobs at other law enforcement agencies, and 39% are considering leaving law enforcement altogether. Additionally, 96% of those members polled said they believe crime will increase, and 88% said officer safety will plunge.


At a moment a number of US public pension plans have barely recovered – if at all from the 2008 financial crisis – now to be hit with continuing economic fallout from the corona-crisis and domino effect of historic unemployment, an alarming report in FT warns that seven major public pension plans are due to deplete their assets by 2028. “The correction in the US stock market has increased the long-term structural problems across the entire US public pension system, particularly for the weakest funds,” FT observes.

A new, detailed study attempting to forecast the near term struggles of public pensions at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found: “Public plans with extremely low funded ratios in 2020 may face the risk of running out of assets in the foreseeable future if markets are slow to recover,” according to researcher Jean-Pierre Aubry. The depletion would impact many hundreds of thousands of Americans and their retirement, assuming a potential slow recovery for the US stock market. FT summarizes the Center for Retirement Research’s analysis according to the following study highlights:

  • Over 320,000 members of the New Jersey Teachers and Chicago Municipal public pension plans: “A slow recovery for the US stock market could result in Chicago Municipal’s funded position falling from 21 per cent this year to just 3.6 per cent by 2025. This would leave assets to cover just three months of the fund’s retirement payments…”
  • New Jersey Teachers: “…funded position projected to decline from 39.2 per cent to 23.2 per cent over the next five years. By that time, New Jersey Teachers would have assets to cover 19 months of retirement payments.”
  • Police and fire departments: “public pension plans of Kentucky and Providence along with Dallas Police and Fire, Charleston Fire and Chicago Police could all end up with less than three years of retirement benefit payments saved as assets.”
  • “Chicago has particularly high pension risks. The city has built up very large unfunded liabilities through years of very weak pension contributions,” a senior credit officer at Moody’s.


Former wrestler, promoter and podcaster Rick Bassman was chatting to legendary tough guys, such as Sting, Butterbean, The Hulk, and Malibu. To Rick, they are Steve, Eric, Lou and Deron. At five feet, four inches, Rick was always the smallest guy in the ring, but he felt that together they could deliver a big message. “With the Talking Tough podcasts, I wanted to see if these legendary tough guys could tell their stories, share what they had learned the hard way and help people better navigate their lives,” explained Bassman. After a life filled with ups, downs and twists that most reality series only dream of; Bassman fit easily into his role as a host who demands honesty. And one who with the inside stories and fortitude to ensure that truth is delivered.

When coronavirus and protests changed America; Rick and his fellow tough guys once again took stock. Arenas, gyms and stadiums were silent. But, the smallest guy in the (now-virtual) room once again delivered a message that resonated. “I was dumbstruck for way too long,” Said Bassman. “But eventually, it reached a tipping point and I decided I needed to get off my ass and do something.” Rick asked his testosterone-heavy friends how they felt about a simple message of peace and positivity; delivered in the most straightforward way possible – #BEGOOD. He was shocked by the response. “They were all on board. And I think the shared hope among us is that when times are tough, it might also be a time when tough guys can cut through the static and be heard,” explained Rick.

Joining the four tough-guy athletes and celebrities Rick started with are MMA legend Bas Rutten, fitness icon Mine “Titan” O’Hearn, martial arts Hall of Famer, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, LAPD’s “Angel of Skid Row” Deon Joseph, stuntman extroirdinaire Tanoi Reed, the Hell’s Angels’ Rusty Coones and viral sensation Naphil “I’m Tyrone” Hitson. Other big names are expected to join in as momentum continues to build. To help deliver their message, Bassman reached out to Showrunner/Director Tim Prokop. “I was excited about the premise,” said Prokop. “And I view this as an opportunity to tell universal stories, because as big as these guys are – nothing came easy for them.” After meeting with dozens of charities; Bassman and Prokop decided on two beneficiaries for the first ever #BeGood live online event. National Cares Mentoring Movement started after Hurricane Katrina and is dedicated to providing vulnerable youth the guidance, education and support they need to succeed. Reverend Michael McBride and LiveFreeUSA work tirelessly to bring equal justice and opportunity to communities who need it most. Bassman didn’t expect the response they received. “The phone started ringing off the hook. We hadn’t even announced it, but I started getting call, after call, after call.


The federal government set records for both the amount of money it spent and the deficit it ran in the first eight months of fiscal 2020 (October through May), according to data released in the Monthly Treasury Statement. During the October-May period, the government spent a record $3,899,536,000,000 while it collected $2,019,240,000,000 in total taxes.

The resulting deficit of $1,880,296,000 was the largest the federal government has ever run in the first eight months of a fiscal year.


President Lyndon B. Johnson drives his Amphicar on April 10, 1965. This amphibious land-to-water vehicle of West German origin was produced for several years during the 1960s.

Johnson, a practical joker, reportedly enjoyed bringing unsuspecting guests into his Amphicar and exclaiming that the car’s brakes had failed as it sped toward, then into, the lake on his Texas ranch.


Over 600 East German border guards defected from the East to the West across the Berlin Wall. No one ever defected the other way.

*EXAMINER – COMMENTARY by Farhad Manjoo:

A chilling word keeps coming to mind this week, like a scratched-up record stuck on a lazy loop in my tweet-addled brain. Impunity. If you can bear it, watch one of the videos of George Floyd’s death last week at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Focus on the eyes of Derek Chauvin, the officer who has been charged with murder and manslaughter for pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for a torturous eight minutes and 46 seconds. At several points, Chauvin makes smirking eye contact with the camera. He even halfheartedly reaches for what looks like pepper spray when the phone-wielding bystanders get a bit rowdy in their insistence that Floyd is dying before their eyes. But the presence of the bystanders doesn’t stop him; it’s almost as if Chauvin knows nothing can touch him. Impunity is the only word I can think of for it.
  Keep a close eye, too, on Tou Thao, Chauvin’s partner, who engages with the crowd in the manner of a security guard at an amusement park. As Chauvin pins Floyd down, Thao is almost polite in his colloquy with the people recording the scene. It’s as if he knows he’s going to be all over social media later, so he’s going to play it cool. I’ve watched the Floyd videos at least a dozen times, and every time, it’s Thao’s composure that stiffens the hairs on the back of my neck. Thao comes off as completely unashamed of the misconduct he witnesses and, with his silence, encourages, in full public view. Cameras were supposed to eliminate this sort of horror. Here, they hardly make it better. Beyond outrageous!
  As these cameras have become ubiquitous, we have gotten a better picture of the scale of the horror. At times, as in the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014, bystanders have managed to capture the precise moment at which police misconduct becomes fatal.  Yet in the Garner video, the police try to push the camera away. The cops seemed at least embarrassed by it. What’s particularly nauseating about the Floyd videos is that the officers know they’re being watched, yet they are not deterred and don’t even seem bothered by the cameras.


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  Science journalist and author, Sonia Shah, along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.



Few cities on the planet can compare to the great city of Los Angeles. LA is literally one of the few places in the world where people from every nation come to see their dreams come true, to achieve their goals, and to reach their ultimate potential. It is a city that is about opportunity, creativity, culture, and experience.

Now you can join our free “Best of Los Angeles Award” community and communicate with 6,600 members all interested in the best of L.A. No ads. No B.S. Simply visit the page, click “Like”, and you’re in.

LBN Examiner Edited By: Aurora DeRose 

LBN Examiner Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN Examiner accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN Examiner is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN Examiner 6/14/2020


  President Trump’s infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday called the coronavirus his “worst nightmare” and warned that the fight against its spread is far from over. The bleak outlook from Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, comes as the US continues to slowly reopen from lockdown while grappling with massive protests in cities over the police killing of George Floyd. “In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,” Fauci said during a virtual appearance at a conference held by Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “And it isn’t over yet.” Fauci added that there is still a world of uncertainty around the virus and how it spreads and impacts the body. He said COVID-19 is much more complex than HIV, a virus he spent his career studying, because of the varying levels of seriousness in infections — from asymptomatic carriers to patients who develop fatal conditions.

“Oh my goodness,” Fauci added. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of really understanding.” Fauci said vaccines will be the only way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, though he did express confidence that an antidote is in the works. He expects “more than one winner in the vaccine field because we will need vaccines for the entire world — billions and billions of doses,” he said. “I’m very heartened by the fact that the industry has stepped to the plate — very much differently than what we saw with SARS,” Fauci said. “The industry is not stupid — they figured it out. SARS had a degree of transmissibility that it burned itself out with pure public health measures. No way is that going to happen with this virus.”


The city of Chicago notched a grim milestone last weekend, as 18 people were murdered on Sunday, May 31 alone, marking the deadliest day in the city since at least 1961.The University of Chicago Crime Lab‘s numbers do not go back further than 1961, so it’s impossible to say how long it’s been — if ever — since so many people were murdered in the city one 24-hour stretch. TheChicago Sun-Times describes some of the victims:

  • A hardworking father killed just before 1 a.m.
  • A West Side high school student murdered two hours later.
  • A man killed amid South Side looting at a cellphone store at 12:30 p.m.
  • A college freshman who hoped to become a correctional officer, gunned down at 4:25 p.m. after getting into an argument in Englewood.

In the entire weekend stretching from 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, through 11 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 24 people were killed in Chicago and another 85 were wounded by gunfire. The next-highest murder total for a single day in Chicago was on Aug. 4, 1991, when 13 people were killed.


Working at a beer store on St. Mark’s Place, Brittany Spano, 27, has seen the Big Apple’s robust social life return, albeit in an abridged form. Drink windows selling to-go cocktails and beers have sprung up throughout the city, drawing in socially starved New Yorkers who have been in quarantine for three months. But this re-emergence has come with a stream of issues — mainly a steady flow of revelers freely peeing in public since most bathrooms remain closed. And now, with thousands of protesters taking to the streets each day, more people than ever are contributing to NYC’s No. 1 problem by whizzing in the wild. “Last night, my co-worker saw some guy just coming down the street and pulling down his pants [to urinate],” Spano says. “She was like, ‘Nah, not here, man.’ “There’s definitely been an uptick on this street, from what I’ve seen. But most people at least go in a corner or have friends cover them up,” says Spano.

A lack of restrooms has left New Yorkers in a bind. They want to go out but then they are left holding it in. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops where New Yorkers could always find relief in the past have closed their restrooms to the public. Plus, with fears over the coronavirus still very present, many don’t feel safe going into germ-infested public restrooms. And hey, peeing in public isn’t even a crime anymore. In 2017, New York City introduced the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which decriminalized low-level offenses.  “My friends and I talk about [public urination] all of the time now,” Sophia, a 23-year-old who lives in Park Slope and asked that her last name not be used, say. “It’s a big topic. Since the pandemic, I have done it myself in Prospect Park, behind a dumpster in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. All of the public restrooms like McDonald’s and Starbucks are closed. If you are far away from your home, what are you supposed to do?”


A dominant body posture may help children to feel more confident in school. These are the findings of a new study by psychologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg. The study was recently published in the journal School Psychology International and provides initial evidence that simple poses can help students feel better at school. Some body poses don’t need further explanation: When a person sits with their arms crossed behind their head, resting their feet casually on a table, they are probably feeling very self-confident. Arms folded in front of one’s body and a hunched back, on the other hand, typically indicates insecurity. “Body language is not just about expressing feelings, it can also shape how a person feels,” explains Robert Körner from the Institute of Psychology at MLU.

Research on so-called power posing investigates, among other things, the extent to which a certain body posture might influence a person’s feelings and self-esteem. “Power posing is the nonverbal expression of power. It involves making very bold gestures and changes in body posture,” says Körner. Up to now, most of the research has revolved around studying the effects on adults. Körner and colleagues’ study is the first to examine children. “Children from the age of five are able to recognize and interpret the body posture of others,” the psychologist adds.


A salvage firm can now recover a wireless telegraph machine that transmitted desperate calls from people aboard the Titanic as it sank in the Atlantic Ocean in 1912, a Virginia federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, who presides over Titanic salvage proceedings, determined on Monday that the historic telegraph “will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives in the sinking.” RMS Titanic Inc., the court-ordered salvor, said the brief transmissions sent “tell the story of Titanic’s desperate fate that night: the confusion, chaos, panic, futility and fear,” according to court filings. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, however, argued against the mission as the artifact lay among “the mortal remains of more than 1500 people.” About 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew onboard the Titanic survived the shipwreck, which is now at the bottom of the North Atlantic.


Popstar! TV’s “Hate Among Us”, a documentary that shines the spotlight on anti-Semitism at present worldwide, has received two nominations for the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards – for Outstanding Special Class Special and Outstanding Directing Special Class. The competition has never been fiercer as this year’s Daytime Emmys received more than 2,700 submissions and was judged by a pool of 1,000 peer professionals from across the TV industry. “Having the film nominated for an Emmy is a huge honor,” states Dean Cain. “It helps us to achieve our ultimate goal, which is to shine a light on hate and help educate people about the history and the current growth of hate and anti-Semitism. We are very excited about this recognition, and hope this brings more awareness to this serious humanitarian crisis.”

Directed by David McKenzie, the documentary illustrates how renewed intolerance is taking root in our communities, institutions, and universities, with far reaching consequences around the world and depicts unique perspectives on antisemitism from young and old alike, from Jew and non-Jew. Featuring real stories and accounts from survivors of recent violent acts of anti-Semitism all the way to the Holocaust, the documentary special is co-hosted by Dean Cain and Montel Williams, who have also taken on behind-the-scenes roles as executive producers alongside David, Sergey Sarkisov and Laura McKenzie. “After the broadcast of our TV Special “Denial”, the response of the community from this inhumanity proves that this topic very important to many people as well as being very relevant,” states Sergey Sarkisov. “I do believe that “Hate Among Us” contributes to the proper understanding and empathy that any kind of national, racial or religious hate continues to be an existing danger and every human, including humanity itself, can be a target.”

“Hate Among Us” was created in memory of Mireille Knoll, a holocaust survivor, loving mother, and grandmother. The film interviews her surviving sons and granddaughters and describes how Mireille survived the Holocaust only to be murdered in 2018 by two radicalized Muslim assailants, stabbing her 11 times before setting her on fire. One of the assailants had known her since he was a child. “When we set out to make Hate Among Us, we knew it was an urgent project. In these divided times, we have to remember that hate and bigotry are never the answer,” states Montel Williams.


In the past decade, studies have found that taking vitamin D can lower the odds of developing respiratory infections like the cold and the flu, especially among people who have documented deficiencies. Now scientists are trying to find out whether vitamin D might also help protect against Covid-19. Some scientists believe that people with vitamin D deficiencies have weak or abnormal immune responses that make them more susceptible to developing Covid-19 and experiencing severe symptoms. The notion that vitamin D levels could influence the risk of Covid-19 has sparked debate among experts and prompted researchers at Harvard and other universities to start randomized trials examining whether there is a link. But so far, most of the evidence for the claim comes from observational studies that do not prove causation. And experts are urging people to be cautious about gobbling down high doses of supplements in the hopes of obtaining benefits that may not exist.


The embattled company that operated the helicopter in which Kobe Bryant and eight others were killed got more than $600,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds. Island Express Helicopters suspended operations after the Sikorsky S-76B crashed into a hillside but started up again in March. It’s facing four wrongful death lawsuits, including one from Bryant’s widow, Vanessa.


Hats in New York, 1930.


Plane, train, and automobile data have been important indicators of the economy’s pace of recovery. 

  • Planes: After processing a low of fewer than 90,000 travelers on April 14, TSA says more than 440,000 people passed through its airport checkpoints last Sunday. That’s progress—but still represents just 17% of last year’s number.  
  • Trains: Some railroad categories have had a “heartening” increase in traffic over last year, according to Association of American Railroads exec John Gray. 
  • Automobiles: The four-week moving average of petroleum demand has rebounded off its April low, while Apple’s mobility datasets show more people are approaching their pre-pandemic driving levels. 


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