- WorldThe Telegraph
Every single day, without fail, for 18 months, an entire Welsh village lost its broadband on the dot at 7am. The mystery left residents and engineers utterly baffled and frustrated. Unable to get online, the 400-strong population of Aberhosan, Powys, repeatedly called telecoms experts, who in turn, repeatedly descended on the village in a bid to identify the problem. In an expensive attempt to solve the problem, they even replaced most of the area’s cables. But still, much to their bemusement, the signal continued to plummet from 7am. Eventually, engineers launched an investigation, bringing in a “crack squad” from other parts of the UK. Equipped with a specialist monitoring device called a Spectrum Analyser, the team was dispatched to scope the village from dawn. Michael Jones, an Openreach engineer, said: "We walked up and down the village in the torrential rain at 6am to see if we could find an electrical noise to support our theory.
Flip or Flop star Christina Anstead was spotted picking up green juice three days after she announced her breakup from husband Ant Anstead--and her bling was all too telling.
- HealthThe Week
As the U.S. hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump tells an Ohio rally the coronavirus 'affects virtually nobody'
The U.S. passed yet another "grim milestone" in its COVID-19 pandemic Monday night, Reuters notes, with at least 200,000 Americans dead from the new coronavirus and an average of nearly 1,000 more dying each day. As "the country blew past estimate after estimate" of COVID-19 deaths, Politico's pandemic newsletter said Monday night, "the term 'grim milestone' in headlines became so routine that we banned it."COVID-19 deaths are rising again in the U.S. after a four-week decline, with Texas and Florida leading the news fatalities, Reuters reports, and the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now predicts 300,000 deaths by Dec. 9 and 378,000 by the end of 2020 if current trends continue. The IHME's first projection of U.S. coronavirus deaths, issued March 16, topped out at 162,000. The U.S., with about 4 percent of the world's population, has 20 percent of its recorded COVID-19 deaths.At a rally in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday night, President Trump assured his admirers the virus isn't really that bad, noting that it mostly kills "elderly people" and people with "other problems," adding, "It affects virtually nobody."> "It affects virtually nobody," Trump says of the coronavirus, which has now killed 200,000 Americans and counting pic.twitter.com/qHrZvUWNhX> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020According to CDC data, more than 70 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths are among people older than 65, which means about 60,000 of the dead were 65 and younger. And a lot of the estimated millions of U.S. "long-haulers" who did not die from COVID-19 are still grappling with a wide array of health problems, some of the potentially serious.More stories from theweek.com Stephen Colbert's Late Show takes Lindsey Graham up on his offer, uses his words against him Democrats have a better option than court packing NFL reportedly fines 3 coaches for not wearing masks during games
- U.S.Business Insider
A Kennedy who worked on Jared Kushner's COVID-19 task force said he was asked to distort a coronavirus prediction to make the outbreak seem less bad
Max Kennedy Jr., a Democrat, said he joined Jared Kushner's coronavirus response team hoping that it would rise above politics. It did not.
- PoliticsThe Daily Beast
Reverend Greg Lewis was enraged.As executive director of “Souls to the Polls Milwaukee,” a program to engage religious Black voters in Wisconsin, Lewis was triggered by a campaign question: Is the Biden team doing enough to reach out to communities of faith like his?“When are these people going to learn how to fight?” Lewis said in an interview Monday afternoon. “They just stand there and just let the Republicans just punch them in the face. And they sit there complaining about getting punched. Do something about it, man. This is crazy! That question right there really hits my gut,” he said.In short, his answer was no.The fiery critique, which came just minutes before Biden spoke in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, helped to elucidate the gravity of what’s at risk for many religious individuals across the country in just six weeks.Facing the possibility of a second term with President Donald Trump in the White House, some Black faith leaders have railed against a possible extension of what they consider to be Trump’s unholy affront to things like morality and inclusion. With so many “social ills” to right, as one minister put it, some see their service to help get votes as even more critical now, especially as the Biden operation has gone entirely digital during the pandemic.“It’s lucky we’ve got ‘Souls to the Polls’ here because we’re going to saturate this community with information,” Lewis said, describing faith-based voting programs across denominations.In Lewis’ view, registered Milwaukee residents will likely help sway the election this time around, just like in 2016, presenting a substantial opportunity. But as state polls currently show a real shot for a change of political power at the top, he’s concerned that Democrats may flub their chance to stave off a Trump homecoming, warning against repeating a nightmarish script from four years ago with a different nominee.“People don’t give a—I can’t cuss, I’m a faith leader,” he said. “But people don’t care about Biden.”Pressed more, he brought up the president. “Trump has an opportunity to win. Let me put it to you like that. I’m not Democratic or Republican. All I know is I don’t like what I see in the White House right now.”Lewis’ fury is not unique. While others see the former vice president, a devout Catholic, in a more favorable light as a natural magnet for voters of faith, the anxiety that Trump could claim the prize is still a top cause for worry.“There’s a lot of fear,” said Bishop Harry Seawright, a minister at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama. “That’s why we just want to make sure that if people are afraid to go out, they still need to know that they have alternatives.”The fear is not just about Trump. Seawright is worried about a whole host of potential problems before and after Nov. 3—especially COVID-19, which disproportionately affects older residents like Black seniors. But “the sabotaging of our votes” tops the list, he confessed.With safety above all else, the Biden campaign is pushing for Americans to vote by mail and is conducting virtual-only organizing efforts across the board. Their comprehensive outreach programs fall within that broader strategy. Biden often alludes to or directly mentions core principles of faith in his paid advertisements and political speeches, and his campaign staffers have taken their cues from him. Aides have hosted regular virtual faith events, including phone banks and house parties. They’ve also reached out to prominent national leaders in the space and have held a series of “off the record listening sessions,” ultimately receiving more than 1,000 endorsements.“We are directly courting people who are faith-motivated,” said Josh Dickson, the Biden campaign’s faith engagement director, emphasizing a “strong moral contrast between the two tickets.”“We’re aiming to be the most expansive and robust and diverse faith outreach programming that we’ve seen in a Democratic campaign,” Dickson added. One event that speaks to the broadness of their shop is scheduled to take place on Wednesday night, where officials will host an “Evangelicals for Biden” virtual conversation with Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Jerushah Duford.“Our faith is being tested,” said Terry Wimes, a 58-year-old resident from Jones County, Georgia. “Currently the biggest threat to Christianity is the hypocrisy of many Evangelicals. I have to do my part to be a positive representative for Christ.”Wimes posted online about driving seniors and other residents in his county to the polls for early voting, which starts on Oct. 12. “Black folks are focusing on turning Georgia blue!” he said, sharing a wish that matches one of the Biden campaign’s pledged priorities.Historically during presidential election cycles, gathering in churches and other centers of worship are some of the more common places to register and bring in new people under the tent. “Souls to the Polls,” a broad election-time term that encompasses a lot of these standard elements, has been replicated with success in interfaith institutions across the country.This year, the nature of the novel coronavirus has made that significantly harder. In an effort to err on the side of science, Team Biden’s decision to not engage in person is one of the clearest contrasts to their opponent, whose campaign has continued canvassing face-to-face, at times eschewing stay at home precautions by health experts. The president himself, cheered on by loyal attendees packed in close quarters, continues to hold large gatherings, sometimes indoors, despite 200,000 coronavirus deaths nationwide.Bruce Colburn, who works as “Souls to the Polls’” program coordinator in Milwaukee, envisioned something entirely hands-on when he started crafting GOTV initiatives pre-pandemic. He planned on facilitating discussions at churches and providing spaces for families to talk with each other after services about the importance of voting. That playbook had to be thrown out.“Our work was really going to be based in the churches,” Colburn said. “And that all changed.”Colburn’s group has started to produce different types of gatherings for the first time, including hosting safe sit-ins with masks at churches after protests swept Wisconsin. “Those are places where people bring their chairs and sit by the side by the churches and discuss what they’re going to do about getting active,” he said, counting a “couple hundred people” who showed up in solidarity recently. “One of the big features of those is making sure that we get people to register to vote while they’re there.”His network has also held more phone calls than previously expected and had success getting additional polling places designated for early voting, a victory he believes will alleviate some voters’ concerns about casting their ballots safely. They’ve also made visual appeals to locals by distributing signs and billboards around the city so people can still receive critical voting messaging when they’re not interacting with others.Biden’s campaign is also engaged on that front. Their own internal “Souls to the Polls” program assists in giving out education materials on a non-partisan basis to faith leaders to share with their parishioners, including resources on online voter registration.“We know that COVID has presented so many challenges for people, but we actually see enthusiasm around this work at an incredibly high level because of all the ways in which people have been impacted,” Dickson said.In the Democratic primary, Biden won the support of many Black voters in South Carolina who helped guide him towards success with voters in other states. Michael Wear, a former adviser to President Barack Obama on faith outreach, said that his longstanding bond with religious groups was unique among contenders at the time, and has helped him make a similar positive connection through the general election.Praising the Biden campaign’s reverence for “the institution of the church, in particular,” Wear said their “solid relationships” could be strong mechanisms for turnout now, even absent any in-person contact with the candidate himself.“Some of the other forums through which campaigns might try to reach voters, barber shops, rec centers, that kind of thing, in many places those are still closed, and if they’re not closed folks are tentative,” he said.“It’s really the church that is still—even if it’s digital—it still has a purpose and function for convening people, for sharing information. I think faith communities are going to be even more essential than usual and play an even more pivotal role.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Long after her career as a legal activist, well into her time as a judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a popular-culture heroine. Her dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a 2014 case about mandatory contraceptive coverage, played a part in this newfound celebrity. Fans called it “brutally awesome.” People magazine noted that it had even been set to music. Now that Ginsburg has died, the dissent is being remembered as a highlight of her tenure.Even people who own RBG coffee mugs and tote bags, though, should be glad that Ginsburg’s dissent has not held up over the years. She predicted the decision would lead to calamities that have thankfully not come to pass.The case arose from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which led to regulations requiring many employers to cover 18 forms of contraception in their health-insurance plans. Hobby Lobby’s owners objected to four of them. Five justices ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 allows Hobby Lobby not to cover them.Ginsburg warned that the decision would cause “havoc” as companies sought all manner of religious exemptions from laws. Would this privilege, she asked, “extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)?” There was “little doubt that such claims will proliferate,” she said, and courts would then have to get into the dangerous business of deciding the merits of various religious beliefs.There was ample reason to doubt Ginsburg’s alarmism, which was why even some liberal legal experts said that the majority’s decision was more limited than she portrayed it. The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, noted that there was no evidence that employers excluded vaccinations and the like from their health plans even when regulation left them free to make those decisions.Judges do not have to weigh the merits of religious beliefs to apply the religious-freedom law. They must instead decide whether the government, in placing a substantial burden on the free exercise of religion, is serving a compelling interest using the least restrictive means. Thus Alito did not say whether Hobby Lobby’s owners were reasonable or unreasonable in objecting to facilitating the use of the four contraceptives.It was the dissenters, including Ginsburg, who opined on that question. Their argument hinged on the idea that the owners were being told to provide contraceptive options, not to use or approve of those options. By that logic, it wasn’t a serious infringement of their religious liberty, because their connection to the actual use of the contraception was “too attenuated.” Alito replied that it was for the religious believers to decide whether their faith really forbade the action the government was trying to force them to take on pain of steep fines.That’s where the argument stood in 2014. Because Ginsburg’s dissent made specific predictions, we have had a chance to test who was right. Looking at the evidence in 2018, two law professors concluded that “Hobby Lobby has not had a dramatic effect on government win rates in religious exemption challenges, nor have religious claims undergone a dramatic expansion in volume following Hobby Lobby.” No companies have tried to get out of covering vaccinations or blood transfusions. Courts have not had to make any judgments about different religious groups’ beliefs about any of these matters.The typical religious-freedom-law claim in federal court looks a lot more like the various cases Native Americans have advanced to get exemptions from the federal ban on the possession of eagle feathers without a permit. These cases don’t involve corporations, they don’t invite judges to address whether the feathers should have religious significance, and they often don’t succeed.The scope of religious liberty remains a live issue. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says that if he is elected, he will work to end the exemption Hobby Lobby won in court. If the Supreme Court takes up the issue again, the justices will have the benefit of learning from Ginsburg’s mistaken predictions.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ramesh Ponnuru is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a senior editor at National Review, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and contributor to CBS News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
My wife and I live with my dying mother. My brothers and I will inherit her home. Should I ask her to sell it — and move in with me?
‘If she agrees to move, and puts the money in her bank account — a joint account with one of her grandchildren — what happens to the money? She gave that grandchild survivorship rights.’