• Business
    CBS News

    Sweden becomes an example of how not to handle COVID-19

    The country never imposed a lockdown, now has a coronavirus mortality rate much higher than the U.S., and could face a devastating 2nd wave.

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  • Politics
    The Daily Beast

    NY Judge in Trump’s Tax Return Fight: Why Are We Still Here?

    A week after the Supreme Court ruled President Donald Trump is not immune from turning over his tax returns and other financial records to the Manhattan district attorney, the president’s legal team said in a Thursday hearing they intended to keep fighting the “wildly over-broad subpoena”—an argument slammed by prosecutors as a back-door attempt to create temporary “absolute immunity.” Federal Judge Victor Marrero—who originally presided over the case and denied the president’s efforts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from subpoenaing eight years of Trump’s tax returns last year—questioned both sides in a Thursday hearing about what has changed since his previous ruling. In the video hearing, Marrero hinted that he had already addressed the president’s concerns last October and only new information would change his mind. Rudy Giuliani Blows Up Trump’s ‘Audit’ Excuse on Tax ReturnsLast August, Vance’s office issued a subpoena to Mazars, the president’s accounting firm, as part of the investigation into hush-money payments allegedly made to several women before the 2016 election. The president has denied having affairs with these women, but Vance said the financial records dating back to 2011 were crucial to see if business records were falsified and if any tax laws were violated. In a 7-2 decision on July 9, the Supreme Court sided with Vance in the belief that Trump should not get absolute immunity as a sitting president. But they sent the case back to the lower courts for a final decision on the specific subpoena issue. That decision means Trump’s legal team has the right to delay the release of his records before the case is ultimately resolved—which could happen after the November presidential election. On Thursday, William Consovoy, one of the president’s lawyers, pushed back against Marrero’s skepticism, arguing that Vance’s “wildly over-broad subpoena” was not tailored to the DA’s original investigation and was instead “copied verbatim” from the congressional committees who also sought Trump’s tax returns. He said Trump “is still reviewing the subpoena” and his team has not yet decided what arguments they plan to raise in an amended complaint against Vance’s request. Calling the legal action a “fishing expedition,” Consovoy argued Trump was “a target for political reasons.”Supremes: NY Can Get Trump’s Tax Returns, but Not House DemsHe added that while Marrero allowed Vance’s investigation into whether Trump and his company violated state laws with hush-money payments, he must now “focus on the subpoena itself” and narrow its scope.Assistant District Attorney Carey Dunne hit back, arguing that the president’s legal team did not offer “a single recitation of a single new fact” that would sway the judge’s original ruling, and stressed that “justice delayed is justice denied.”“What the president’s lawyer is seeking here is delay,” Dunne said, adding that the president achieves some sort of “absolute immunity” with each day that goes by. “This lawsuit has delayed our collection of evidence. We accept that the president has the right to articulate any new claims, except constitutional immunity. But there's no special heightened standard. It’s like he’s a CEO.”While the federal judge made no rulings on Thursday, he endorsed the schedule the two legal parties had previously agreed on. The president will make whatever arguments he wants about the subpoena in a hearing later this month.“Our office’s position, your honor, is, ‘bring it on,’” Dunne said Thursday. The hearing came a day after Trump’s lawyers, in a joint submission memo with the DA’s office, renewed their year-long effort to block or narrow Vance’s access to the president’s records. In the memo, the lawyers argued Vance’s subpoena was politically motivated and too broad. “The President should not be required, for example, to litigate the subpoena’s breadth or whether it was issued in bad faith without understanding the nature and scope of the investigation and why the District Attorney needs all of the documents he has demanded,” the president’s lawyers said in the 10-page memo. “The parties likely will disagree about the appropriate scope of discovery.”Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance’s Trump Case Hinges on Tax ReturnsTrump has been refusing to release his tax returns for years, overturning a precedent set by the previous six presidents. He argued in federal district court in New York that he couldn’t be subpoenaed in a criminal case because he is a sitting president. The president lost several bids last year in lower courts to stop the subpoenas.“Shunning the concept of the inviolability of the person of the King of England and the bounds of the monarch’s protective screen covering the Crown’s actions from legal scrutiny, the Founders disclaimed any notion that the Constitution generally conferred similarly all-encompassing immunity upon the president,” Marrero wrote in an October 2019 opinion denying Trump’s block and reminding the president’s legal team that the president is not royalty. Similar to his argument against the slew of congressional committees who wanted his finance records, Trump argued that the legal move tried “to compel the production of an enormous swath of the president’s personal financial information.” His legal team slammed Vance for “pointedly refus[ing] to eliminate the president as a target for indictment.”On Thursday, Dunne stressed the president's lawyers have had over a year to dig into the facts of their investigation and there was no “attempt to harass.” He also stressed that their request for the subpoena does not burden Article II of the Constitution—which establishes the executive branch of the federal government. He said that there is no burden because “the Mazars subpoena is not even served on the president. He's not the one responding to it.”“Now that the immunity claims are gone, he does not even have standing for claims that belong only to Mazars. I do not think discovery will be necessary,” Dunne said. A day after the July 9 Supreme Court victory, Marrero asked both Trump’s lawyers and the district attorney teams to inform him of whether further action was needed in light of the landmark decision. Trump’s lawyers, in the Wednesday memo, revealed they plan to argue Vance’s subpoena should be blocked, while the district attorney told Marrero that the president’s team is trying to blow past the limitations of the Supreme Court ruling. Both parties, however, agreed the president should make new challenges to the subpoena by July 27.“It is the president’s position that further proceedings are necessary,” Trump's lawyers said in the memo. “In those proceedings, the president will file a second amended complaint in which he will raise arguments that the Supreme Court held that he may make on remand.”On Wednesday, Vance’s office also asked Marrero in the joint memo to order the president to file any additional arguments as soon as possible in order to not lose evidence “as a result of fading memories or lost documents and the risk that applicable statutes of limitations could expire.” The District Attorney’s Office also asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to immediately release its ruling to lower federal courts, warning that delaying a process that normally takes up to 25 days could thwart the ability for filing of criminal charges.“If the president has anything left to say the ball is now in his court,” the district attorney’s office wrote. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Celebrity
    TODAY

    This mom looks just like Jennifer Aniston, and the internet can’t get over it

    When a mom and interior design blogger who goes by The Kindred Ginger on social media got a new haircut, Instagram commenters had a lot of opinions about her updated look. The Kindred Ginger, whose first name is Caitlin, recently went viral because so many people thought she had such a striking resemblance to Jennifer Aniston. The original post that called attention to the similarities was shared by her stylist, Stephanie Carrillo of Orange County, California.

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  • Business
    USA TODAY

    How an Arizona couple helped fuel a Wayfair sex trafficking conspiracy theory

    An unproven conspiracy theory that online furnishings retailer Wayfair is involved in sex trafficking was declared false by a fact-checking publication.

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  • Lifestyle
    Autoblog

    Airstream Basecamp 20 debuts with more space for all inside the silver bullet

    A new Airstream Basecamp trailer just debuted. Airstream has made the silver bullet camper trailer longer, taller and wider for the 20. Airstream says there are more storage locations throughout the trailer to stow extra gear.

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  • Business
    Refinery29

    The Problem With Trump Stripping The CDC Of COVID-19 Data Is Obvious, But Still Terrifying

    On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services shared that all further hospital data on coronavirus patients will be sent directly to the Trump administration starting July 16. The information previously went through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first, reports CNN. According to the report, this decision is being touted as faster and more convenient, but health experts worry that the move could make data — such as infection rates and trends — less transparent. By presenting all information to the Trump administration to filter through the public, experts say that we are running the risk of putting a political spin on coronavirus cases, particularly at a time when White House representatives are urging for reopenings and downplaying the death toll in America.News of the change reportedly came as a shock to the CDC, who were told that the information as it is currently filtered is too slow to process. “Today, the CDC still has at least a week lag in reporting hospital data,” Health and Human Services spokesperson, Michael R. Caputo told the New York Times. “America requires it in real time. The new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They simply no longer control it.”The CDC currently collects coronavirus data through its system, the National Healthcare Safety Network, which tracks COVID-19 by having medical professionals register their facilities and report new cases, deaths, hospital capacity, and other pertinent information. At the outset of the pandemic, this program expanded to meet demands and track hospital capacity and COVID-19-specific patient information. The new system, which reportedly will be used to collect the same information, is managed by health data firm, TeleTracking. Like the National Healthcare Safety Network, the TeleTracking system will rely on daily push data, meaning that hospital employees must manually enter the information. One caveat is that if hospitals are already in the habit of reporting information at a state level first, they could obtain a written release to continue that process, giving the state the responsibility of reporting on a federal level. Though the systems are similar in purpose and practice, the concern lies in the lack of trust health experts and medical staff has in the Trump administration to make apolitical data available to the right people. In an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, four of the CDC’s former directors expressed concerns that the Trump administration will politicize data and continue to undermine health experts. Furthermore, information sent to the new database will not be open to the public which raises questions about how researchers, health officials, and reporters will be able to access data. Among several things that haven’t been made clear in this new system, is how the CDC will be involved and what its role will be in helping understand the data collected. Outside of medical experts, people responded with similar concerns over health data’s new route through the Trump administration. Many echoed concerns of a lack of transparency calling it “horrifying.” Nothing horrifying to see here. Just that Coronavirus hospital data will now be sent to Trump administration instead of CDC 139K dead, 3.5M infected, still not enough tests—and now potential censorship on the actual extent of the devastation. Dystopian.https://t.co/eUPD3ItSdZ — Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) July 15, 2020“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under Barack Obama, told the NYT. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like CDC to do its basic job.”Dr. Thomas File, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America released a statement saying: “Placing medical data collection outside of the leadership of public health experts could severely weaken the quality and availability of data, add an additional burden to already overwhelmed hospitals and add a new challenge to the U.S. pandemic response.”Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Is Kayleigh McEnany Just Trump's Mouthpiece?Why Harvard & MIT Are Suing TrumpMelania Trump Wore A Mask In Public — Finally

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  • World
    Deadline

    Attorney General William Barr Blasts Hollywood For Censoring Movies “To Appease The Chinese Communist Party”

    Attorney General William Barr blasted Hollywood on Thursday for what he characterized as self-censorship to appease China and ensure entry into its marketplace, to the extent that studios have given the Communist Party "a massive propaganda coup." Barr made the remarks in a speech on Thursday at at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, and […]

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