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'I feel threatened!': Florida man's viral outburst over Costco's mask policy costs him his job at insurance company

07.07.2020 22:53

A Florida man lost his job at an insurance company after video of him yelling about Costco's mask policy garnered widespread social media attention.

From: rssfeeds.usatoday.com

Mary Kay Letourneau, Teacher Who Abused and Then Married Student, Dies of Cancer

07.07.2020 22:47

Mary Kay Letourneau—who gained tabloid infamy for raping her 12-year-old former student, having children with him, and later marrying him—has died of cancer, her attorneys said.The 58-year-old split from husband Vili Fualaau, now 36, more than a year ago. It was not publicly known that she was ill.“Expected but sad anyway,” her attorney David Gehrke, told TV station KOMO. “She was a good person.”Letourneau was a married mom of four working as a sixth-grade teacher in Washington state in 1997 when she was arrested for sexual contact with Fualaau. The case made headlines around the globe and turned her into a national punchline.She gave birth to their first child shortly before being sentenced to six months as part of a plea deal. Weeks after her release, she was caught with Fualaau in violation of that agreement and tossed back in prison for seven years. She gave birth to their second child, another girl, behind bars.The two began a legal romance after she was released, and they married in 2005—even though Fualaau had unsuccessfully sued the school for failing to protect him from her.“She got out of prison and I asked her to marry me right away,” Fualaau told A&E for a special in 2018. “I knew that my kids would have both their parents in a house and that was something I didn’t have, and I wanted them to have that experience.”She maintained that she didn’t know that having sex with a boy was illegal.“If someone had told me, if anyone had told me, there is a specific law that says this is a crime,” she told Australian TV in 2018. “I did not know. I’ve said this over and over again. Had I known, if anyone knows my personality. Just the idea, this would count as a crime.”The scandalous union hit the rocks in 2017 and they formally separated in February 2019. People magazine said Letourneau struggled after the breakup.“She’s trying to pick up the pieces and move on, but she’s feeling kind of lost,” a source told the magazine in March. “She’s not sure what to do next.”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.

From: news.yahoo.com

Tucker Carlson Doubles Down on Duckworth Attacks, Calls Her a ‘Coward’ and ‘Fraud’

07.07.2020 21:30

A night after saying Iraq War veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) hates America, Fox News host Tucker Carlson doubled down on his attacks, describing the Purple Heart recipient who lost her legs in combat as a “coward” and “fraud.”During his Monday night broadcast, the primetime conservative star played an abbreviated clip of Duckworth saying there should be a “national dialogue” over the possible removal of statues, touting it as proof that she supposedly wants to “get rid of George Washington” while questioning her patriotism.“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military,” he added. “Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is.”Duckworth would quickly respond via Twitter, wondering if the longtime TV personality would “want to walk a mile” in her legs and then tell her whether or not she loves America.On Tuesday night, with Duckworth’s fiery response still gathering tons of attention, Carlson fired back by once again calling her love of country into question. “Senator Duckworth was asked if we should tear down statues of George Washington,” the Fox host said. “We played that for you last night and we noted how grotesque it was. Only someone who hates the country would suggest ripping down monuments to its founder.”Claiming that the Democratic lawmaker was unable to disagree with his argument, Carlson then added: “Instead she questioned our right to criticize her at all since she was once injured while serving in the Illinois National Guard. That’s what passes for an argument in modern identity politics.”Repeatedly asserting that Duckworth believes that Washington is a “dead traitor,” he went on to say that she has “contempt” for him despite the fact that he “paid his dues” in the military and was a “combat veteran.” “George Washington was a genuinely great man,” he sneered. “But to morons like Tammy Duckworth, Washington was just some old white guy who needs to be erased.”He would go on to note that he reached out to Duckworth’s team to see if she would come on his show for a “vigorous reasonable exchange” of ideas, but they declined unless Carlson was willing to issue a public apology.“Keep in mind, she is also described as a hero,” Carlson scoffed, adding: “Yet Duckworth is too afraid to defend her own statements on a TV show, what a coward. Tammy Duckworth is also a fraud.”Carlson wrapped up his segment by calling the Illinois senator a “callous hack,” accusing her of mistreating veterans, and then comparing her to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)—a favorite target of Carlson’s, who he regularly claims hates America.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.

From: news.yahoo.com

Tech CEO Apologizes After Viral Video Captures His Racist Rant At Asian Family

07.07.2020 21:07

‘My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments,’ Michael Lofthouse said.

Tags: Lost
From: www.forbes.com

COVID-19 pandemic could set back progress in fight against HIV/AIDS by 10 years or more: UN

07.07.2020 16:43

The United Nations warns that the fight against HIV/AIDS could suffer major setbacks, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A report released Monday by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that “decades of hard-won gains” in the global HIV/AIDS response could be lost if nothing is done. “The global HIV targets set for 2020 will not be reached,” the U.N.‘s AIDS agency said in its Seizing the Moment report.

Tags: HIV, Lost
From: www.nydailynews.com

Nurses Who Battled Virus in New York Confront Friends Back Home Who Say It's a Hoax

07.07.2020 16:29

Nurses who traveled from across the country to work in New York City hospitals saw the horrors of the coronavirus up close. They rushed patients to overcrowded intensive care units, monitored oxygen levels and held the hands of the sickest ones as they slipped away.But now that many of the nurses have returned home to states in the South and the West, they're facing a new challenge: persuading friends and family to take the virus seriously."A few times I've lost my temper," said Olumide Peter Kolade, a 31-year-old nurse from California who grew up in Texas and spent more than three months treating patients in New York. "When someone tells me that they don't believe the virus is real, it's an insult. I take it personally."On the way to his 12-hour shifts in Brooklyn, Kolade would scroll through Instagram and Snapchat and see photos taken the previous night of his friends partying in Texas. A few, adamant that the coronavirus was a hoax or that deaths in New York were overstated, texted him videos promoting the false internet conspiracy theory that links the spread of the virus to the ultrafast wireless technology known as 5G."I don't know, if I wasn't a nurse, I would've totally believed the videos," he said. "They made it seem like it was true."For nurses, the widespread skepticism about something they have witnessed is jarring. The United States has hit daily case records three times in the first six days of July, as the politicization of public health measures and the spread of misinformation hinder the country's ability to curb the coronavirus's spread.Tamara Williams, a nurse from Dallas who came to New York, said she had to remove 50-100 friends from her Facebook account because she could not stand seeing their posts with false information about the pandemic.Several times since returning from New York, Williams has run into acquaintances who have told her that they believe the coronavirus is no more than the flu -- even though coronavirus cases in Texas have surged since mid-June. "It's infuriating," she said. Sometimes she pushes back, telling stories about the young patients she treated who had no underlying health conditions.Other times, she tunes people out."There's no other way," Williams, 40, said. "I literally feel like I would lose my mind -- it would eat me alive -- if I sat there and got into a verbal, back-and-forth banter."For months in New York City, streets were deserted and ambulance sirens blared at all hours, a constant reminder of the coronavirus threat. But in cities that have not completely shut down, people can more easily ignore the risk."Unless you've seen it with your own eyes," Williams said, "it is very easy to believe it is not that bad." On Monday, more than 8,800 new cases were announced across Texas, marking the largest single-day total of the pandemic.Research on coronavirus information campaigns is limited, but studies on the effectiveness of messaging to discourage the use of tobacco and alcohol show that young adults tend to discount the dangers, said Deena Kemp, an assistant professor and health researcher at the University of Texas at Austin."There's a lack of direct experience," Kemp said. "Telling me about something that happened to you in a situation that I can't identify with is different than telling me something about a situation I can identify with. New York is states away, and unless you work in a hospital, that's also removed from your experience."The patchwork of conflicting local and national guidelines on wearing masks has also led to skepticism about them, she added.Virginia Bernal, a 45-year-old nurse who spent months working in New York, could tell from her conversations over the phone with relatives back in Phoenix that they were not taking the surge in cases there seriously. She said she had tried to discourage her mother from attending a graduation party for a friend's daughter. But a few days later, when Bernal called, her mother did not answer her phone because she was at the party."I've done my part, so if you choose to go, that's on you," Bernal said she told her mother.Heather Smith, a nurse from Topsail Island, off the coast of North Carolina, who worked at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, struggled to hold back tears when describing how she felt when her brother said he did not believe the virus was real. When Smith started typing a rant on Facebook, she said, "I realized how angry I was." She said she could not get out of her mind the images of patients who died alone: "No one understands how serious and how traumatizing it is."Courtney Sudduth, a nurse from Oklahoma City, said that when she arrived in New York people from back home wanted to know: Was it really as bad as the news media made it sound? Yes, she would tell them, describing the 18-wheel refrigerated truck that was parked outside Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital in Manhattan and used to store bodies.Even that was not enough. Her grandmother in Mississippi still does not wear a mask when she goes grocery shopping, she said. "Oh, I'll be fine," Sudduth recalled her grandmother as saying.One of Sudduth's brothers, who lives in Mississippi, believed conspiracy theories about the virus and continued to socialize at cookouts -- until last month, she said, when he came down with the virus."That changed his mind," Sudduth, 30, said.Even as the number of coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has skyrocketed in recent weeks, people around town still stare at her when she wears a mask. "A lot of people still have the mentality that this is being blown out of proportion," she said.A hospital in Oklahoma City opened a new unit last week to accommodate the increasing number of virus patients. Sunday was Sudduth's first day on the job.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

Chicago Gun Violence Spikes and Increasingly Finds the Youngest Victims

07.07.2020 16:29

As Yasmin Miller drove home from a laundromat in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood last weekend, a gunman in another car peppered her red Hyundai sedan with bullets, grazing her head and striking her son, Sincere Gaston, in the chest. Sincere died in his car seat. He was 20 months old.On June 20, a man fired gunshots through the back of a dark blue SUV, wounding the 27-year-old man driving and hitting his stepson, Mekhi James, in the back, killing him. Mekhi was 3.Two other girls, both aged 3, were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in separate incidents in recent days -- one after her mother thought she heard fireworks and turned around to see her daughter collapsed on the ground.These were just the toddlers.In all, nine children under 18 have been killed since June 20 as Chicago reels from another wave of gun violence. The last two were killed Saturday evening. A 14-year-old boy was shot to death on Chicago's South Side. A 7-year-old girl was struck in the forehead by a bullet when three gunmen opened fire on a July 4 street party on the city's West Side, police said."The Windy City is becoming the Bloody City," said the Rev. Michael L. Pfleger of Saint Sabina Church, calling it the worst period in the 45 years he has worked on social issues. "I have never seen the despair, hopelessness and anger all mixed together at the level it is right now."The violence comes amid a wrenching debate nationwide about policing in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police. Those who defend the police say that the violence shows they need more support, not less, and that it is people living in high-crime areas who most need effective policing. Critics say the violence shows how police are failing the public, how deeply residents distrust officers and the need for reforms and the transfer of funds to address underlying problems, including unemployment, mental illness and drug use.At least 336 people have been murdered in Chicago this year as of Thursday, according to the Chicago Police Department, a homicide rate on track to hit the 2016 record of 778 deaths. (New York City, with almost three times the population, had 176 murders as of June 28.)Chicago had 658 murders in 2017, 567 in 2018 and 492 in 2019, according to Chicago police records.Before the July 4 weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot made an appeal to young men, who she said were responsible for the bulk of the shootings. "Think about the number of children that have been killed just in the last two weeks," she said at a news conference. "Families that will not recover from this hardship. Mothers' hearts that are broken, fathers' hearts that are destroyed, grandparents who are living in mourning."Chicago is not alone. Before the coronavirus hit, homicides were escalating nationwide in early 2020, and although the lockdown brought a pause, they began rising again as the stay-at-home measures were lifted. A national study showed that homicide rates fell in 39 of 64 major cities during April and began creeping up in May.The pandemic has added significant stress on the communities that already suffer the most violence. Impoverished neighborhoods like Englewood also have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Overall, there have been 53,375 known coronavirus cases in Chicago and at least 2,631 deaths, according to statistics from the state.Unemployment in some of the most affected areas rose to 35% from 28% during the pandemic, Pfleger said."That is the tragedy," he said. "The bad situation in this city got even worse with the pandemic. It exposed the reality that Black and brown communities are disproportionately affected.""Because this is not one crisis, this is two crises operating at the same time, this could in fact be worse than what we saw in 2016," said Thomas Abt, a senior fellow at the Council on Criminal Justice and an author of the nationwide homicide study by Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy focused on criminal justice.Distrust of police is also a contributing factor as many residents of the hardest-hit neighborhoods feel reluctant to call on law enforcement, perhaps even more so since the death of Floyd and the nationwide protests against police brutality that followed it.People who have lost trust in police are more prone to settle scores on their own, experts said. "The lack of trust, the lack of confidence in police and the lack of willingness to use police, I think is going to have a broader effect," Abt said.Police too are feeling the strain as they try to confront both the violence in the city and the pandemic. "All of the people and organizations that we usually depend on to respond to homicide and violent crime are overburdened right now," Abt said.Chicago's new police superintendent, David O. Brown, who took the job in April, had vowed to keep murders this year below 300. That bench mark has fallen.Brown called the open-air drug markets on street corners "the precursors" to much of the violence, with the drug sellers employing teenagers with no criminal history so they will be released if caught.Asked about how they are addressing the gun violence, he said that police are confiscating guns -- 4,629 so far this year, more than 10,000 last year. He repeatedly appealed to the public for help, saying that residents knew something about the perpetrators in most cases.A low rate in solving murders -- it hovers around 20% -- and the lack of protection for witnesses both play into the continued high murder rate, criminologists said. Murderers do not expect to get caught and witnesses feel intimidated, they said.The Chicago Police Department let its community policing program wither about two decades ago, said Wesley G. Skogan, of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Now, young police officers canvassing unfamiliar blocks have found that residents do not open their doors out of fear of being seen talking to a police officer, he said.Thomas Ahern, the Police Department spokesman, disputed the notion that community policing was being neglected. He cited Operation Clean, which works to spruce up neighborhoods including fixing streetlights, repairing damaged buildings and removing graffiti.Many residents think that is not enough, however. The city needs to do more to protect witnesses, said the Rev. Ira Acree of the Greater St. John Bible Church."People want to tell, but they are afraid," Acree told a community meeting that he organized to discuss the shootings, adding that people approach him repeatedly about doing the right thing. They tell him, he said, "I want to go to heaven, but I do not want to go this week."He called the death of children "heartbreaking" for the community. "There was a time even in the gangs, there was some code of ethics, you would not bother the kids or the old ladies. They were off limits," he said.The debate over rising violence is also tangled in both local and national politics.President Donald Trump weighed in on the killings in late June, sending a letter addressed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lightfoot, saying that the U.S. government could help revitalize distressed neighborhoods, but "you must establish law and order." The mayor accused the president of trying to play politics rather than to help.Kimberly M. Foxx, prosecutor for Cook County, has been a strong advocate for reducing the prison population through measures like release without bail, erasing marijuana convictions and not prosecuting low-level crimes like shoplifting.The police union, also at odds with Lightfoot over her criticism of some of their actions during the recent unrest, opposes the bail policies.Chicago's toll has mounted steadily since Memorial Day weekend -- when 85 people were shot and 24 killed -- which usually ushers in summer violence. During a 24-hour period the next weekend, 18 people were murdered, the worst day in decades.Some experts attribute the high numbers of children being killed to collateral damage from gunmen leaving their fingers on the triggers of automatic weapons that they have never been trained to shoot.For example, Amaria Jones, 13, was showing her mother a dance step when a bullet tore through a window and a television set before striking the girl in the neck, killing her. The gunman had opened fire from more than a block away, police said.At a memorial for Sincere Gaston, a giant poster bearing the words "Enough is Enough" showed the bright-eyed toddler grasping a green-topped milk bottle.His parents, Thomas Gaston, 27, and Miller, complained that police treated them like suspects, even though Gaston has participated in an anti-gang program. He was the intended target of the shooting that killed his son, police said.Miller said that detectives initially prevented her from seeing her son, demanding that she first divulge information about who might have carried out the killing. "Have some compassion for us, it hurts," she said.John Catanzara, the head of the police union, defended the decision, saying that investigators needed to collect as many details as possible while events were fresh.On the hot, humid day the memorial was held, about 100 people gathered under a white tent erected in an empty lot, releasing a flurry of red and blue balloons in Sincere's honor. "He lit up the room. Everybody loved him," his mother said. "I can do nothing without that little boy. I feel lifeless, I am lifeless."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

Amid New Surge In Virus Cases, Israel's Top Public Health Official Resigns

07.07.2020 13:33

Siegal Sadetzki said Tuesday that Israeli leaders ignored her warnings and the country reopened too fast. "The compass handling the pandemic lost its direction," she said in her resignation letter.

From: www.npr.org

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