Saturday, July 25, 2020

Russia claims it’s in the last phase of COVID-19 vaccine trials

President Trump and Elon Musk tweet about new Tesla gigafactory in Texas

Thousands of Boeing 737s ordered to undergo emergency inspections

Midair close encounter between fighter jet and passenger plane | WNT

U.S. Supreme Court denies Nevada church's appeal of coronavirus restrictions

The Supreme Court building on July 2, 2020.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters file

RENO, Nev. — A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court denied a rural Nevada church’s request late Friday to strike down as unconstitutional a 50-person cap on worship services as part of the state’s ongoing response to the coronavirus.
In a 5-4 decision, the high court refused to grant the request from the Christian church east of Reno to be subjected to the same COVID-19 restrictions in Nevada that allow casinos, restaurants and other businesses to operate at 50% of capacity with proper social distancing.
Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley argued that the hard cap on religious gatherings was an unconstitutional violation of its parishioners’ First Amendment rights to express and exercise their beliefs.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal majority in denying the request without explanation.
Three justices wrote strongly worded dissenting opinions on behalf of the four conservatives who said they would have granted the injunctive relief while the court fully considers the merits of the case

Las Vegas Strip reopens, awakening from 80-day coronavirus coma

Washington Post settles Nicholas Sandmann defamation lawsuit in Covington Catholic High School controversy

The Washington Post is the latest news organization to settle a defamation lawsuit launched by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann over its botched coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor.
Sandmann announced the victory on Twitter.
"On 2/19/19, I filed $250M defamation lawsuit against Washington Post. Today, I turned 18 & WaPo settled my lawsuit. Thanks to @ToddMcMurtry & @LLinWood for their advocacy. Thanks to my family & millions of you who have stood your ground by supporting me. I still have more to do," Sandmann wrote on Friday.
This follows the multi-million dollar settlement CNN made with the teenager back in January.
Sandmann offered a not-so-subtle warning to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
"We have settled with WAPO and CNN. The fight isn’t over. 2 down. 6 to go. Don’t hold your breath @jack," Sandmann tweeted.
Sandmann's attorney, Lin Wood, similarly wrote, "For our present to @N1ckSandmann  to celebrate his 18th Birthday, @ToddMcMurtry & I gave Nicholas the gift of justice from . . . THE WASHINGTON POST #FightBack."
A spokesperson for The Washington Post told Fox News, "We are pleased that we have been able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of the remaining claims in this lawsuit."
In March 2019, Sandmann's attorneys filed a suit against CNN for its coverage of the incident before all the facts had surfaced. The teen was seeking a whopping $800 million in damages from CNN, NBC and the Post.
Attorney Todd McMurtry previously told Fox News that lawsuits against “as many as 13 other defendants" would be filed.
Among them: ABC, CBS, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, NPR, Slate, The Hill, and Gannett which owns the Cincinnati Enquirer, as well as miscellaneous other small outfits, according to McMurtry. Separate lawsuits against the Washington Post and NBC have already been filed, he added.

Sandmann was swept up in a controversy after a video clip depicted the "MAGA" hat-wearing student smiling at Nathan Phillips beating a drum and singing a chant as he was surrounded by Sandmann's peers, who all had joined in on the chant in front of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
However, several mainstream media outlets, including CNN and The Washington Post, portrayed the incident with Sandmann and the other teens as being racially charged before additional footage later showed that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites had provoked the confrontation, slinging racial slurs at the students as they were waiting for their bus following the March For Life event.
Footage then showed Phillips, who was in town for the Indigenous Peoples March, approaching the students amid the rising tension between the two groups.

Trump vows to not rename military bases honoring Confederate leaders

From New York Post:

Donald TrumpGetty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday vowed to strike down legislation renaming military bases that honor Confederate leaders after Congress this week overwhelmingly voted to pass the move.
Trump had previously threatened to use his presidential veto to kill the $740 billion defense bill, but lawmakers overruled him when the Senate and House both approved the measure with veto-proof votes of 86-14 and 295-125, respectively.
In a tweet Friday morning, the president announced he was changing tack and claimed that GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Trump ally, would help him squash the renaming.
“I spoke to highly respected (Chairman) Senator @JimInhofe, who has informed me that he WILL NOT be changing the names of our great Military Bases and Forts, places from which we won two World Wars (and more!),” the president wrote.

Federal Unemployment Set To Expire, As Senate GOP Leaders Will Unveil Their Stimulus Plan On Monday


The Republican version of a new pandemic economic stimulus package should arrive next week, reports indicate, as Senate GOP leaders and the White House claim to have reached agreement on what they will propose on Monday.

The $600 federal unemployment benefit ends tomorrow, leaving the millions of unemployed people relying on their state benefits, even as a surge in new coronavirus cases has shuttered many businesses that reopened and kept others closed since March.

Democrats passed their own relief package in the House in May. Now, the two sides will attempt the difficult task of reaching a compromise on what will be in the final version of the bill.

Oregon lawmakers demand federal agents leave amid protest clashes

Federal agents likely permanently blinded by Portland protesters’ lasers, White House says

From New York Post:

A laser pointed at the face of a federal agent in Portland.Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP

Three federal agents who were sent to Portland, Ore., to try to help quell the city’s  violent protests were “likely left permanently blinded” from clashes, White House officials said Friday.
“A federal agent’s hand was impaled by planted nails, another federal agent was shot with a pellet gun, leaving a wound deep to the bone, and tragically, three federal officers were likely left permanently blinded by the rioters using lasers pointed directly into their eyes,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Friday.
All five of the injured federal agents were hurt Monday during ongoing protests at the Multnomah County Justice Center and a nearby federal courthouse in Oregon’s largest city.

The federal agents were hurt during a confrontation late Monday as a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters descended on the federal courthouse, Fox News reported.President Trump’s press secretary warned, “The Trump administration will not stand by and allow anarchy in our streets.”

Trump signs orders to lower prescription drug prices

Two basketball coaches were taken to the hospital after a fight between AAU teams at Germantown High School, police say

From JSOnline:

Cathy Kozlowicz
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Two coaches were sent to the hospital after suffering injuries during a fight between two girls basketball teams at Germantown High School this week, police said in a news release.
According to a WISN (Channel 12) report, a coach punched a 15-year-old girl during the fight
According to a news release from Germantown police: 
Ten people were involved in the fight during the independent basketball league game at 2:17 p.m. July 22. The fight ended when police arrived. Four people who are believed to have been involved left the area when police arrived. 
The remainder of the basketball tournament was canceled and the investigation is ongoing. 
No arrests have been made.
The teams and league involved were not identified by police, but according to a WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) report, the Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Playground Elite and the Appleton-based Wisconsin Blizzard were involved. The tournament was hosted by the Wisconsin Lakers. The tournament was not sanctioned by the AAU. 
The Great Lakes Classic basketball tournament that included Wischonsin Playground Elite was scheduled for July 22-23 at Germantown High School. 

Read more:

Elizabeth 'Bo' Black, 74, guided Summerfest in its early years and helped make it an international juggernaut

From JSOnline:

Bill GlauberDaniel BicePiet Levy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

She was Milwaukee's one and only, the irrepressible, unconquerable Elizabeth "Bo" Black.
Black presided over Summerfest, taking it from a local extravaganza to an international juggernaut, giving Milwaukee something out of the ordinary, a glitzy, gotta-be-there event that lured the biggest names in music.
"She was a pistol, pal, she was a pistol," said her husband of 20 years, former Milwaukee Brewers manager Tom Trebelhorn.
Black, who had been in declining health for several years and was in hospice care in recent days, died Friday morning at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
She was 74.
"I think she was ready to go," Trebelhorn said.
Trebelhorn said Black will be long remembered for her influence in building up Summerfest.
He called her "a dynamic administrator of probably the greatest family neighborhood venue in the history of the Midwest. She provided terrific entertainment at a reasonable cost. She loved the ethnic festivals, celebrated the diversity of the city."

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Friday, July 24, 2020

News of federal agents coming to Milwaukee concerns alders as Democratic National Convention draws near

From JSOnline:

Alison Dirr
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Members of the Milwaukee Common Council on Friday raised concerns that the federal agents President Donald Trump plans to send to Milwaukee could pose challenges during the Democratic National Convention.
"The new dynamic is the reality of what's going on in Portland, the reality of what's about to happen in Chicago and the reality about what's threatening to happen in Milwaukee that may very well coincide with the time we have the DNC," Ald. Milele Coggs said at a city meeting Friday. 
Federal agents have been criticized for their response to protests in Portland, where they have been accused of using excessive force and arresting protesters without probable cause. Federal officials dispute the allegations.
News broke Thursday that Trump would be sending federal agents to Milwaukee as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Operation Legend, which recently brought more than 200 federal officers into Kansas City after a 4-year-old boy was shot and killed.
Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. attorney for Wisconsin's Eastern District, said Friday the federal officials coming to Milwaukee will focus on violent crime, illegal gun cases and slowing the city's rising homicide rate — not responding to protests or civil unrest.
Federal law enforcement was already scheduled to be present in Milwaukee specifically for the DNC.
Ald. Robert Bauman questioned what would happen if those federal officers assigned to the DNC were to confront protesters, despite plans that federal officials would be inside an area that would require credentials to enter. 

Racine automated public transit trial advances, 'Black Humanity Now' sign approved

From The Journal

Christina Lieffring

In this computer-generated image, Racine Artist Scott Terry shares what he hopes to have painted on Wisconsin Avenue in Downtown Racine: the words "BLACK HUMANITY NOW." The Racine City Council on Tuesday approved the plan. 

RACINE — On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a city-wide mask ordinance that goes into effect Monday and mandates masks in most businesses and in public places, with limited exceptions. But that’s not all.
The City Council also approved:
  • A street mural proposed by Scott Terry that would read, “BLACK HUMANITY NOW” on Wisconsin Avenue between the Law Enforcement Center and the Racine County Courthouse.
  • The appointment of Assistance Finance Director Kathleen Fischer as interim City Administrator through Jan. 31, 2021.
  • An advisory referendum for the Nov. 3 election asking if voters support a nonpartisan procedure for re-drawing legislative and congressional district maps.
  • A collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Gateway Technical College to develop electric, automated public transit.
  • A contract with RITE Academy for anti-bias training with the Racine Police Department.

Read more:

CDC rolls out tools for schools to reopen safely during coronavirus outbreak: 'Critically important'

'The CDC resources released today will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday released various virtual tools and guidelines geared toward assisting schools and educational staff around the country, as in-person classes are set to resume in the fall following the coronavirus outbreak.
The suggestions, which are listed on the agency's website, are also designed to help parents make certain their children are as protected as possible by taking specific precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"With states, cities, and communities around the United States experiencing different levels of coronavirus transmission, jurisdictions should ensure appropriate public health strategies are in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the first step in creating a safer school environment," the CDC said.
"Then, working in collaboration with their state and local health departments, school administrators can employ strategies that best match the local conditions and actions that are practical and feasible in their schools to help protect the health and safety of everyone -- including students, teachers, and other staff," it continued.
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said it was vital for schools to reopen in September, but added there must be an increased sense of vigilance and practicality among students, teachers and administrators.
“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” he explained. “The CDC resources released today will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begins. I know this has been a difficult time for our Nation’s families. School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”
In addition to printable photos and graphics reminding children to wash their hands, the site included guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, a hub of communication resources, a checklist for students and parents to make sure they have the proper materials for the school year, and a page dedicated entirely to worker safety.
The CDC said that evidence showed a return to the classroom poses "low risks" to students and teachers on the whole and will give children the opportunity to bolster their physical and mental well-being.
"The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risk to school-aged children," the agency said on its website. "Reopening schools creates an opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America's greatest assets -- our children -- while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families."

Breastfeeding appears safe for mothers with COVID-19, if they take precautions

(Image: © Shutterstock)

Mothers with COVID-19 appear unlikely to pass the disease to their newborn babies — even if they breastfeed and share the same room — provided they take certain precautions, a small new study suggests.
The study found that, out of 120 babies born to mothers with COVID-19, none contracted the disease during childbirth or in the two weeks after birth, even though most of the mothers breastfed, had skin-to-skin contact and shared a room with their babies. The mothers took steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing surgical masks, and washing their hands and breasts before having contact with and breastfeeding their babies, according to the study, published Thursday (July 23) in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.
"We hope our study will provide some reassurance to new mothers that the risk of them passing COVID-19 to their babies is very low," study co-lead author Dr. Christine Salvatore, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital in New York City, said in a statement. Still, the authors note that their study was relatively small, so larger studies are needed to confirm the results.
Given that COVID-19 is such a new disease, data on the risks of transmission from mothers to newborns has been limited. There have been several case reports of newborns that tested positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours after birth and appeared to have contracted the disease in the womb, the authors said. But such reports are rare.

Coronavirus lockdowns hushed seismic noise around the world

The empty Via Simon Bolivar or Transistmica Highway, in Panama City, on May 31, 2020, the last day of total lockdown. Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP via Getty Images

During lockdowns and other measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus there was as much as a 50% drop globally in the seismic vibrations humans normally generate, according to new research.

Why it matters: Human seismic noise can drown out signals from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other geological hazards and natural sources. The "quiet period" of 2020 may help to improve warning systems by offering an opportunity to separate natural sounds from those generated by human activity.

Driving, drilling, walking, flying and other human activities vibrate the Earth's surface, creating seismic noise.

What they found: Using data from 268 seismic stations in 117 countries, researchers measured the effects of lockdowns on high-Frequency (4–14 Hz) Seismic Ambient Noise (hiFSAN), which corresponds to vibrations typically generated by human activities.

  • They observed the effects of lockdowns at 185 stations and found a "near-global reduction in noise, commencing in China in late Jan 2020, then followed by Europe and the rest of the world" from March to April 2020.

  • The noise level reduction lasted longer and was at times quieter than the Christmas to New Years period, Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, and his colleagues from around the world report Thursday in the journal Science.

  • The drops were more pronounced in more-populated areas (New York and Sri Lanka), but were observed in less-populated regions (for example, Germany's Black Forest) as well.

The big picture: "This is the first time to our knowledge that this kind of effect is visible on such a widespread area — the whole globe — and for such a long time period," says Lecocq.


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Euro zone business activity bounces back in July with strongest growth in 2 years

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The euro zone’s business activity rebounded in July, according to preliminary data, as strict coronavirus lockdowns were further eased and more people returned to work.

In June, the region had already shown signs of a recovery with flash PMIs (Purchasing Managers’ Index) hitting 47.5 — up from 31.9 in May. A reading below 50 indicates an economic contraction. However, the July number surpassed this threshold coming in at 54.8, indicating that economic activity grew for the first time since February. 

“Companies across the euro area reported an encouraging start to the third quarter, with output growing at the fastest rate for just over two years in July as lockdowns continued to ease and economies reopened. Demand also showed signs of reviving, helping curb the pace of job losses,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit which provides the data, said in a statement.

Roar and Pour

Join us for our awesome beer tasting event! Meet an animal ambassador and enjoy hors d'oeuvres while exploring unique, specially selected craft beers!

2020 DATES
Wednesdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
July 29 - Racine Zoo
August 12 - Racine Zoo
August 26 - Racine Zoo

  • Bits & Pieces Mosaic IPA
  • K-Town Brown Ale
  • Gosé Cuervo - Margarita Gose
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Weisse City - Berliner Weisse
  • Coaster Brake - Light Belgian Ale
  • 6th beer to be announced soon!

Beer selection coming soon!

  • Unlimited sampling of beer
  • Hors d'oeuvres
  • Animal Ambassador encounter
  • An exclusive Racine Zoo beer glass souvenir 

​LOCATION for July 15:
Cliffside Park, Picnic Area 1
7320 Michna Rd
Racine, WI 53402

$20 non-drinking

*Must be 21 or older to attend.
Pre-registration required! Tickets not available at the door. Event takes place rain or shine.
Masks and social distancing strongly encouraged while socializing. Masks may be taken off while eating/drinking, but encouraged to be replaced after. Sanitation stations will be located nearby for your safety. Bring your own mask or we can provide you with one.

Proceeds benefit the animals and programs of the Racine Zoo.