Democrats Grill Barr | Trumps Tout Quack COVID-19 Video
1. Democrats Grill Barr Over Protests, Russia Probe
“Shame on you, Mr. Barr.” Those words from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler summed up the tone of Attorney General William Barr’s congressional testimony Tuesday. Saying Barr is “projecting fear and violence nationwide in pursuit of obvious political objectives,” Nadler led Democrats in criticizing America’s top cop for deploying federal paramilitary agents to confront Black Lives Matter protesters. They also called him out for discrediting the probe into Russian election meddling and going easy on President Donald Trump’s friends. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers like Ohio’s Rep. Jim Jordan thanked Barr for “standing up for the rule of law.”
Just a day away from America’s death toll passing 150,000, President Trump — who’s again promoting a discredited coronavirus treatment — complained Tuesday about White House expert Dr. Anthony Fauci’s higher approval rating. “Nobody likes me,” Trump said. “It can only be my personality.” Meanwhile, American teachers may strike to avoid unsafe conditions in schools that Trump has insisted must open in spite of nationwide infection surges . And in Europe, where outbreaks had been brought largely under control before loosening travel and business restrictions, health officials are warning they see signs of a second wave.
Catharsis, maybe? Iran’s military startled U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf by firing missiles at a dummy American carrier near busy Strait of Hormuz shipping lanes. Broadcast on state TV, the “attack” also featured speedboats and troops rappelling onto the fake warplane-equipped deck. The U.S. Navy called it “irresponsible and reckless.” But Iranian authorities may be doing actual harm to British-Australian scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert, imprisoned for alleged espionage, by transferring her to the notoriously harsh conditions of Qarchak Prison near Tehran. Australian officials have demanded access to the prison, known to have clusters of infected prisoners.
This one might not be a joke. Tech titans have made legislators look clueless in previous encounters, but when the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook face the House Antitrust Subcommittee today, it may be different. The panel has reportedly done its homework, spending a year probing the companies’ allegedly anti-competitive practices, like using their control of digital devices and access to overwhelm developing businesses. It has also compiled 1.3 million documents and scrutinized the executives’ previous statements. But people like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos — the world’s richest human — aren’t likely to come unprepared, either.
U.S. presidential challenger Joe Biden has linked his economic recovery proposals to boosting minority-owned businesses. The annual Islamic pilgrimage, the hajj, has begun, but Saudi Arabia’s pandemic restrictions will limit it from the usual 2.5 million international pilgrims to 10,000 residents of the kingdom. And Maine authorities report that a 63-year-old woman has been killed in the state’s first known fatal shark attack.
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1. Alzheimer’s Blood Test Yields ‘Game Changing’ Results
For the first time, a blood test — rather than the usual invasive and expensive brain scans and spinal fluid analysis — has identified people with Alzheimer’s disease. In an article published Tuesday, an international research team reported up to 98 percent accuracy in differentiating the brain-wasting condition from other causes of dementia, even spotting it 20 years before the expected onset of symptoms. While the Alzheimer’s Association called the results “game changing,” experts noted that it’s not a cure, and more trials are required before the test can be approved for wider use.
2. Social Media Platforms Scrub Quack Virus Claims
Can the demons be exorcised? Facebook and Twitter spent Tuesday deleting references to a video (which got Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account restricted) of a Texas doctor/minister saying, “Hello, you don’t need a mask. There is a cure.” That remedy? President Trump’s favorite: hydroxychloroquine. Both social media platforms, citing their prohibition of COVID-19 misinformation, have removed the video featuring Dr. Stella Immanuel, who also claims that dreaming of having sex with demons causes endometriosis and impotence. A spokesperson for Trump Jr. said Twitter’s actions were proof that “Big Tech is intent on killing free expression.”
They injected romance into online dating … then came the pandemic. Some 91 million people use the Happn app, which matches singles who have been near each other — like, say, their eyes met in a crowded subway, OZY reports. But crowded subways have become test tubes of contagion, and with many anxious singles in lockdown, Happn founder Didier Rappaport knew the app, launched in 2014, had to keep up with the times. It’s now expanding its chance encounter radius from 250 meters to 75 miles, filling that lonely void until geolocation can play cupid once again.
After making headlines with his opening baseball pitch, it’s fitting that America’s pandemic doc, Anthony Fauci, is conquering entertainment too. For his brief Saturday Night Live at Home impression of the White House immunologist, Oscar-winner Pitt got a comedy series guest actor Emmy nomination yesterday. Also scoring big was Netflix, with a record 160 nominations, beating the 107 for rival HBO — whose superheroes-and-social-commentary seriesWatchmen scooped up 26 nods, the most of any program. Meanwhile, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will again have 20 chances to win at the Sept. 20 ceremony.
It’s one of many sad sights in Major League Baseball these days: Home runs that fans traditionally clamor to catch are instead dropping into empty stadium seating, often to plunk down a few rows before coming to rest. Now a ball-shagging detail collects them and (presumably after disinfecting) some teams are opting to send them to fans. Sadder still, the league’s canceling more games after 15 Miami Marlins, along with two coaches, tested positive for COVID-19, meaning the Philadelphia Phillies, who played them this weekend, are having daily tests instead of games the rest of the week.