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Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Maine wedding 'superspreader' event is now linked to seven deaths. None of those people attended.

Only about 65 close family members and friends were on the guest list for a bride and groom’s rustic wedding celebration in a small Maine town in early August.

But the nuptials began an outbreak now traced to more than 175 reported novel coronavirus infections and also to the deaths of seven people, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The cluster of coronavirus infections that originated from the Big Moose Inn outside Millinocket on Aug. 7 continues to grow in Maine, state health officials said, after guests flouted social distancing and mask guidelines. Now people who have no association with the party have died, including six residents of the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center in Madison, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah said in a news briefing Tuesday.

The Millinocket wedding is not the only rule-defying celebration linked to a growing number of cases, as contact tracers and public health officials across the country continue to track down infections that stem from summer “superspreader” gatherings, including a motorcycle rally in South Dakota and a choir practice in Washington.


Who needs another Zoom call? Why sending letters might help your loved ones.

Supporting friends and family who are going through a hard time used to involve meaningful chats at the local coffee shop, venting over a glass of wine on the couch or warm embraces followed by words of encouragement. Now, because of the coronavirus pandemic, those traditions are on hold.

But we can take another approach: sending handwritten letters. The old-fashioned gesture could be particularly beneficial now: The pandemic is adversely affecting Americans’ mental health, and research suggests that being contacted by letter can lower the risk of suicide. Besides, after months of remote work and virtual communication, many people might welcome a tangible alternative to yet another Zoom call. Feel awkward writing a nondigital missive? No worries, we have you covered.“[

Letters] help provide social support, even if you can’t be there with your friend or family member, holding their hand and being by their side,” says Spray, who is also the director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center at NYU Langone Health.

Research indicates that such support can have a significant impact on recipients’ mental health. One study, conducted at Stanford University in the early 1970s, followed more than 800 people after they had been discharged from the hospital for depression or suicidal tendencies. One group of patients received handwritten letters from a health-care provider they knew in the five years following discharge, while the other group received no letters. Patients in the letter-receiving group had lower rates of suicide over the five-year period.


Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Speaks for the First Time Since Nerve Agent Attack

Vladimir Putin’s nemesis Alexei Navalny has posted on social media for the first time since a nerve agent attack left him critically ill last month. On Instagram, the Russian opposition leader posted a photo from his hospital bed Tuesday morning and addressed his supporters four weeks after he was poisoned after drinking a cup of tea at a Russian airport. “Hi, this is Navalny,” he wrote. “I miss you. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day... I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much.” The poison that struck down Navalny has been identified as Novichok—a nerve agent concocted by Soviet scientists during the Cold War. Navalny’s second-in-command told The Daily Beast last week that she suspects her boss was attacked by men sent by close Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alexei-navalny-speaks-for-the-first-time-since-nerve-agent-novichok-attack?ref=home

L.A. deputies tackled and arrested a reporter. Her videos contradict their claims about the incident

Source: Washington Post

NPR executives and reporters groups condemned Huang’s arrest, demanding her charges be dropped and the sheriff’s department explain why officers forcefully tackled her.As Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies tackled Josie Huang to the street on Saturday night, the reporter for NPR affiliate KPCC screamed repeatedly she was a journalist. Deputies arrested her anyway, leaving her with scrapes, bruises, a five-hour stay in custody — and an obstruction charge that carries up to a year in jail.

Police claimed Huang, who also reports for LAist, didn’t have credentials and ignored demands to leave the area. But those claims are contradicted by video Huang shared on Sunday showing her quickly backing away from police when ordered to do so and repeatedly identifying herself as a journalist. Huang said she also had a press badge around her neck.

Early on Sunday morning, the sheriff’s office told a different story in recounting her arrest. The department said that as officers were struggling to arrest a protester, “a female adult ran towards the deputies, ignored repeated commands to stay back as they struggled with the male and interfered with the arrest.”

Huang “did not identify herself as press,” the department claimed, “and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person.” Asked by The Post to clarify those claims in light of Huang’s videos showing her clearly identifying herself as a reporter, a department spokesperson declined to comment citing an ongoing investigation.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/09/14/la-sheriffs-josie-huang-npr/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

The war on journalists must stop.

California Is the Most Diverse State, Report Says

Racial diversity is a major theme of 2020, with the death of George Floyd, other killings and subsequent protests sparking broader discussions on racism and racial inequality. Diversity is reflected in the U.S. population, which is composed of myriad cultures, economic statuses, educational levels, religions and other demographics.But just as some aspects of society aren't as diverse as others – just 29% of state legislators nationwide are women, for example – some areas are more diverse and promote diversity more than others. California, Texas and Hawaii are the most diverse U.S. states, according to personal finance site WalletHub.

The states were ranked according to their scores on 14 metrics in six categories: socioeconomic diversity, political diversity, religious diversity, cultural diversity, household diversity and economic diversity. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, and states were ranked based on their overall scores, determined by their weighted average across the metrics. The data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Association of Religion Data Archives and the American Values Atlas.

Top-ranked California scored in the top five in three categories: socioeconomic diversity, household diversity and cultural diversity. The state scored highest of any state for linguistic diversity, part of the cultural category. Hawaii ranked third overall, in part from its top score in racial and ethnic diversity.

Most Diverse States

1. California
2. Texas
3. Hawaii
4. New Jersey
5. New York
6. New Mexico
7. Maryland
8. Florida
9. Nevada
10. Arizona


ICE flew detainees to Virginia so the planes could transport agents to D.C. protests. A huge coronav

Source: Washington Post

Full headline: ICE flew detainees to Virginia so the planes could transport agents to D.C. protests. A huge coronavirus outbreak followed.

The Trump administration flew immigrant detainees to Virginia this summer to facilitate the rapid deployment of Homeland Security tactical teams to quell protests in Washington, circumventing restrictions on the use of charter flights for employee travel, according to a current and a former U.S. official.

After the transfer, dozens of the new arrivals tested positive for the novel coronavirus, fueling an outbreak at the Farmville, Va., immigration jail that infected more than 300 inmates, one of whom died.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency moved the detainees on “ICE Air” charter flights to avoid overcrowding at detention facilities in Arizona and Florida, a precaution they said was taken because of the pandemic.

But a Department of Homeland Security official with direct knowledge of the operation, and a former ICE official who learned about it from other personnel, said the primary reason for the June 2 transfers was to skirt rules that bar ICE employees from traveling on the charter flights unless detainees are also aboard.
The transfers took place over the objections of ICE officials in the Washington field office, according to testimony at a Farmville town council meeting in August, and at a time when immigration jails elsewhere in the country had plenty of beds available because of a dramatic decrease in border crossings and in-country arrests.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/coronavirus/ice-air-farmville-protests-covid/2020/09/11/f70ebe1e-e861-11ea-bc79-834454439a44_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

A man died because Trump brought ICE agents to gas peaceful protesters in DC.

Hundreds more have died at home in L.A. Experts say COVID-19 is the culprit

In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas — charged with reviewing the causes of nearly 10,000 deaths a year — saw a disturbing trend: the number of people dying at home had jumped drastically.

Though he did not know the cause at the time, and some mystery still remains, Lucas now believes he was seeing firsthand the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic which would soon sweep the country — killing more than 180,000 Americans by the end of August.

When COVID-19 cases began to surface in the U.S., home deaths started to escalate and continued to build through the following months, according to records compiled by Lucas’s office and obtained by The Times.

In the first six months of the year, there were 330 more home deaths in Los Angeles County than in a typical year, according to a Times analysis. In April alone, the number jumped by nearly 60% over April of last year —


How America fell into a great coin shortage

Whatever it’s called, this lack of coinage seems to be a challenge that ever-divided government, businesses and Americans can unite behind. There’s a new coin task force, complete with its own hashtag: #getcoinmoving. Businesses heavy in coins are helping businesses without. A Chick-fil-A in a South Carolina mall is inviting people to bring in their rolled coins in exchange for cash and a free sandwich. Casinos are trying to tempt would-be gamblers to empty jingling pockets in exchange for free slot play.

In yet another 2020 plot twist, coins aren’t making their way through the economy, with the repercussions rippling from the upper echelons of the federal government down to ice cream shops and bank teller windows. With more people staying home, buying less and shifting their spending online, the natural flow of pocket change through banks, restaurants and retail stores has dried up.

Earlier in the pandemic, the mint scaled back the number of employees working shifts to allow for social distancing, White said. By mid-June, the mint had ramped back up to full production.

“This is not a coin supply problem,” White said. “It’s a circulation problem, and we need the public’s help to solve this. … Every little bit helps.”


Mail delivery suspended at L.A. public housing complex with over 1,800 residents

Mail delivery has been suspended at Mar Vista Gardens, a public housing complex with more than 1,800 tenants in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Del Rey, forcing residents to pick up mail and packages at a Culver City facility over a mile away.

Culver City Post Office Postmaster Roderick Strong told officials at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles this week that mail delivery was immediately being put on hold because of safety issues at the 43-acre housing complex.

Strong had previously cited safety issues as a reason to set up centralized banks of mailboxes at Mar Vista Gardens instead of delivering mail to each door, an idea that troubled residents of the complex. Tenant leaders had raised concerns about voting in the upcoming elections and questioned why the same changes were not happening in wealthier areas.
Housing authority spokesman Eric Brown said that, although Strong has repeatedly spoken of threats to mail carriers at the Del Rey complex, “we still have not received a valid report on his accusations.”


Fox News panel offers tepid reaction to Trump speech

"Flat," "didn't have the bite he usually has," and "too long."

Those were just a few of the reactions from the Fox News panel that provided immediate analysis of President Trump's speech.

With fireworks and opera in the background, Chris Wallace, moderator of "Fox News Sunday," said he was "surprised by the lack of fireworks" in the speech. Brit Hume, Fox's senior political analyst, said it was too long and agreed with Wallace that it felt flat. Dana Perino, a Fox anchor, gave the president points for hitting Biden hard but agreed it was on the long side.

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