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Americans might face a long wait for the COVID economic relief Trump promised in executive orderTrump's plan to give $300 per week in unemployment benefits faces a number of legal, logistical and funding hurdles.

8/12/2020 4:01:10 AM

Critics say Portland protests have been co-opted by 'white spectacle,' but Black activists say they're staying focused on Black livesThe president of the Portland NAACP called the demonstrations "white spectacle." Portland activists say the reality of the movement is more nuanced.

8/12/2020 1:09:00 PM

Taiwan says discussing purchase of U.S. mines, cruise missilesTaiwan is in discussions with the United States on acquiring underwater sea mines to deter amphibious landings as well as cruise missiles for coastal defense, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to United States said on Wednesday. Speaking to the Washington's Hudson Institute think tank, Hsiao Bi-khim said Taiwan was facing "an existential survival issue," given China's territorial and sovereignty claims over the island and needed to expand its asymmetric capabilities. Hsiao said Taipei was currently working with the United States on acquiring a number of hardware capabilities, including cruise missiles that would work in conjunction with Taiwan's indigenous Hsiung Feng missile system to provide better coastal defense.

8/12/2020 12:00:02 PM

Police officers set dog on black man and say ‘good boy, good boy’ as it bites his legA police dog in Salt Lake City was ordered to attack an African American man who was on his knees with his hands in the air.Police officers arrived at Jeffery Ryans’s house in April in Salt Lake City, Utah, after they responded to a call made by someone who said they had heard him arguing with his wife, according to the Daily Mail.

8/12/2020 12:08:03 PM

A broken cable smashed a hole 100 feet wide in the Arecibo Observatory, which searches for aliens and tracks dangerous asteroidsThe cable ripped through the observatory's reflector dish and damaged the dome that directs the telescope to its targets in space.

8/11/2020 7:08:00 PM

South Dakota Governor to get $400,000 security wall around residenceSouth Dakota officials said Wednesday they plan to build a security fence budgeted for $400,000 around the official governor’s residence to protect Gov. Kristi Noem.

8/12/2020 5:21:16 PM

Pro Poker Player Was Bound, Sexually Assaulted, ‘Lit on Fire’ After Motel MeetingSusie Zhao, the professional poker player whose charred remains were found in a remote Michigan park in July, was allegedly bound with zip ties and sexually assaulted before she was “lit on fire until she died” after meeting with a convicted sex offender, according to new court documents. Zhao, 33, was last seen around 5:30 p.m. on July 12 by her mother, the White Lake Township Police Department previously told The Daily Beast. The next day, her “badly burned” body was discovered at around 8:05 a.m. in a parking lot near the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, about an hour outside of Detroit. Last week, Jeffrey Bernard Morris, 60, was charged from his hospital bed with first-degree premeditated murder. Authorities discovered the convicted sex offender allegedly met Zhao in a motel room the night before her body was found. Morris, who is homeless and has a “lengthy criminal history” is currently in jail after being denied bail. A Pro Poker Player Was Found ‘Badly Burned.’ Was She Murdered Over Gambling?“This is not the end of the investigation into Susie’s death but the beginning of the pursuit of justice for her and her family,” White Lake Township Detective Chris Hild said in a press conference. “We can only hope that where we are today brings some level of comfort to the healing process.”In new court documents, first obtained by WXYZ, authorities revealed what occurred the night the pro poker player, known on the circuit as “Susie Q,” went missing. Cell phone records indicate Morris and the rising poker star first met on July 12. In an interview with police the night of his arrest on July 31, Morris admitted to picking up Zhao on Watkins Lake Road before they both checked into the Sherwood Motel at around 9:26 p.m.  Morris told investigators the pair left the motel at some point to buy some alcohol and that Zhao left the motel at around midnight and took everything with her. Cell phone records, however, show the 33-year-old’s phone didn’t leave the motel until around 5 a.m on July 13, according to the court documents. Surveillance footage near the motel and cell phone records also show Morris left the room at around 5 a.m., before driving to a secluded section of the Pontiac Lake Recreation area—where Zhao was found. Court documents say that evidence suggests Morris was at the 3,745-acre park for about seven minutes. When Zhao was found the following morning, she was identified by fingerprints and was bound with zip ties. She had been sexually assaulted with a large object before being "lit on fire until she died,” the court documents state. A spokesperson for the Oakland County Medical Examiner told The Daily Beast that Zhao’s cause of death is currently unknown, pending an autopsy and toxicology results. When authorities pulled Morris over on a warrant in Ypsilanti weeks later, investigators found several hairs and other evidence with possible bloodstains. They also found duffle bags with a fitted bed sheet that appeared to have blood on it and a wooden baseball bat that also appeared to have a bloodstain. The items were taken to Oakland County Crime Lab for testing. Authorities are now scrambling to understand the motive behind the “mysterious death” that occurred just weeks after Zhao moved back to her home state of Michigan from California on June 9. Two childhood friends of Zhao previously told The Daily Beast that the poker player bounced between several cities—including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Florida—both for her job and because she was “a jet-setter.” According to PokerNews.com, Zhao was successful in the professional worker world, garnering several deep runs in the World Series of Poker Main Event—placing 90th in 2012 to earn $73,805. Over the course of her career, Zhao won $224,671, according to the poker database The Hendon Mob. Despite earlier speculation, authorities have said there is no evidence that Zhao’s death was connected to her gambling.“I don’t think there was ever anything else that she wanted to do. She was playing poker from a very young age,” Meredith Rogowski, a childhood friend, told The Daily Beast. “It was not a surprise. She was very bold and did whatever she wanted to do. Whenever we talked about her job, she was very nonchalant. But I do know it was exhausting to be in that world—it was long hours and some of the people she met weren’t always genuine.”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.

8/12/2020 11:29:35 AM

These pretty floral face masks come with a filter—and they're on saleA face mask with an added layer can provide even greater COVID-19 protection, and this one's on sale—get the details.

8/12/2020 1:35:52 PM

Postal service changes pose threat to voting, says former USPS deputyRon Stroman, who stepped down as deputy postmaster general this year, warned new policies at USPS could disenfranchise votersA former top official at the United States Postal Service (USPS) has warned that recent changes at the agency, now led by a Trump ally, could “disenfranchise” voters as they are implemented just months ahead of an election in which a record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail.Amid reports of significant mail delays, Ronald Stroman, who stepped down earlier this year as the second in command at USPS, said he was concerned about the speed and timing of changes that appeared to be implemented after Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general, took office in June. USPS faces a financial crisis and every postmaster general is interested in cost savings and efficiency, Stroman said, but the question was how to balance those changes with the public’s needs.“The concern is not only that you’re doing this in a pandemic, but a couple of months before an election with enormous consequences,” said Stroman, now a senior fellow at the Democracy Fund. “If you can’t right the ship, if you can’t correct these fast enough, the consequence is not just, OK, people don’t get their mail, it’s that you disenfranchise people.“Making these changes this close to an election is a high-risk proposition,” he added.Some delays this year have been because USPS workers have been unable to work during the Covid-19 pandemic. But fears increased after DeJoy, a major Trump donor with no prior USPS experience, took over the agency. Shortly after he started at the postal service, the Washington Post and other news organizations obtained internal documents saying the agency was prohibiting overtime and that postal workers should leave mail behind at processing plants if it would cause them to leave late.Mark Jamison, a former postmaster in North Carolina who retired from the agency in 2012, said the idea of leaving first class mail – which includes letters with a regular stamp – was anathema to the culture of USPS. “The rule has always been you clear every piece of first class mail out of a plant every day, period,” he said. “There has never been, never, in the 30 years I worked for the post office, there has never been a time when you curtail first class mail.”Philadelphia residents have reported going upwards of three weeks without mail and postal workers told the Philadelphia Inquirer mail was piling up in local offices. Veterans and employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs have reported mail delays in fulfilling prescriptions. In Minneapolis, USPS temporarily stopped mail-delivery to a high-rise building, home to many low-income and immigrant residents, over concern of Covid-19 spread. In April, some Wisconsin residents reported never receiving ballots they requested for a statewide election. Democrats in Congress have opened an investigation into the delays and asked the USPS inspector general to probe the matter as well.“I mean come on, we’ve got a pandemic, you’re social distancing, people are calling in sick, you’re going to cut out overtime now? That just makes no sense,” Jamison said. “It’s unconscionable what they’re doing.”David Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, said there was no blanket ban on overtime. The agency declined to say whether employees were being instructed to leave mail behind.There is concern the delays could last into November and disenfranchise many Americans. The majority of US states require absentee ballots to arrive by election day, regardless of when the voter puts them in the mail, in order to be counted. USPS has long advised voters to put their ballots in the mail a week ahead of election day to ensure they arrive in time to be counted (some states continue to allow voters to request a ballot up until days before the election). At least 65,000 ballots were rejected in primaries this year because they arrived too late, according to NPR.USPS denies it is slowing down the mail and DeJoy said the agency had “ample capacity” to deliver mail ballots on time. “While I certainly have a good relationship with the president of the United States, the notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the president, or anyone else in the administration, is wholly off-base,” he said on Friday at a meeting of the USPS board of governors.There is also some concern about the cost different states will have to pay to send ballots. Some states send ballots as marketing mail, which is less expensive than first class mail and has an expected delivery time of three to 10 days (first class mail is typically delivered faster). In the past, USPS has quickly moved official election mail regardless of the class of service, but in recent weeks the agency has signaled it will not expedite election mail and election officials will get the service they pay for.Some Democrats have suggested this amounts to a USPS threat to raise postage on mail-in ballots, a characterization USPS strongly disputes.“There are currently no pending changes to the rates and classes of mail impacting ballots,” Martha Johnson, a USPS spokeswoman said in a statement. “The baseless assertion that we intend to raise prices in advance of the upcoming presidential election in order to restrict voting by mail is wholly without merit, and frivolous. The Postmaster General and the organization he leads is fully committed to fulfilling our role in the electoral process.”While Stroman agreed the agency had capacity to handle the volume of mail-in ballots, he said DeJoy should make it unequivocally clear that mail-in ballots need to be delivered consistent with USPS delivery standards and be transparent about how the agency was going to address apparent delays ahead of the November election.“I would like him to say to the employees, ‘This is a priority to me, and I expect 100% of the ballots that we have be processed and delivered consistent with our service standards,’” he said. “Just making that statement, I think, would be important to send a signal to the workforce [that] that is your expectation and that you’re going to put the resources in to make sure that happens.”Art Sackler, manager of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, an industry group that represents heavy mailers including Amazon and eBay, said he had heard a “mixed bag” from businesses over the last few weeks, some of which have reported delays. He questioned why the agency was moving ahead with the changes now.“If there’s a takeaway from the business side of this it would be that the timing of this is problematic,” he said. “In the teeth of a national emergency, voting is coming up in November, well sooner, their peak season comes up after that. A lot of folks are saying: why not do this in January?”

8/13/2020 5:00:51 AM

Mother says son with autism was 'kicked out' of church by priestJulia Vicidomini said her son, Nicholas, was instructed to leave the church after he dropped a toy.

8/11/2020 3:47:00 PM

Trump says ‘suburban housewife’ will vote for him. What do polls, 2018 election show?He tweeted they are “thrilled” he did away with an Obama-era fair housing regulation.

8/12/2020 1:15:00 PM

Ghislaine Maxwell says she is being mistreated in jail and that she should be taken out of solitary confinementLawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, who is in jail awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, want her released into her jail's general population.

8/11/2020 3:13:25 PM

Chinese Communist Party's new Red terror in Hong KongHong Kong advocates for democracy are being targeted and arrested as China seeks to stamp out dissent.

8/13/2020 4:00:13 AM

Andrew Yang on Democratic National Convention: 'I kind of expected to speak'Yang voiced his apparent disappointment in not being on the list of speakers at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

8/11/2020 5:21:02 PM

3 charged with threatening R. Kelly accusersFederal prosecutors announced charges Wednesday against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who have accused R&B singer R. Kelly of abuse, including one man suspected of setting fire to a vehicle in Florida.

8/12/2020 2:58:33 PM

Imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer begins hunger strikeA prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has begun a hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic, her husband said Thursday. Reza Khandan told The Associated Press his wife Nasrin Sotoudeh began the strike Tuesday and he feared it would exacerbate her chronic gastrointestinal and foot problems. Iran has the highest number of virus-related deaths in the region with 19,162 after 174 died since Wednesday.

8/13/2020 6:19:01 AM

Air circulation can fight coronavirus transmission — or help it spread. Here's how to spot a faulty system.Air inside a building could carry coronavirus particles if it's not getting filtered or ventilated. Here are signs the air may not be safe.

8/12/2020 7:30:00 AM

Trump Campaign Playbook: Paint Kamala as ‘Ruthless’ and ‘Power-Hungry’Sen. Kamala Harris may be on the bottom of the Democratic presidential ticket, but President Donald Trump’s allies plan to portray her as far more than just a running mate. If Joe Biden prevails in November, the line from Team Trump will go, the California Democrat will effectively be the president of the United States.It’s an extension of a line of attack against Biden that the Trump campaign has hammered for weeks: that he is incapable of governing and would effectively be a vessel for other interests in the Democratic Party to govern by proxy. In Harris, Trump allies say, Biden has selected a perfect foil to ramp up that line of attack.“The playbook on Kamala is pretty simple,” a plugged-in Trumpworld source told The Daily Beast. “Right now the message on Biden—and it’s the first effective frame the campaign has sustained on Biden—is that he’s an empty shell for the radical left. Kamala Harris is a power-hungry politician. She comes across as ruthless. So it’s a believable frame that she’d be running the administration for empty shell Joe Biden.”The source, who, like others, requested anonymity to speak candidly about Trump re-election strategy, acknowledged that the strategy will likely elicit cries of sexism from Biden, Harris, and other Democrats. But Trump’s political machine nonetheless sees it as both consistent with recent Biden messaging that they feel has been effective and a line of attack against Harris that Trump and his allies can make stick.Sen. Kamala Harris Tapped as Joe Biden’s VP“Anything Trump says about her will be [portrayed as] sexist,” a former White House aide who worked closely with Trump’s political team told The Daily Beast. “That won’t determine the strategy and it shouldn’t.”Sure enough, the Trump campaign issued a statement moments after Harris was announced as Biden’s pick.“Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received,” Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson said in a statement. “Clearly, Phony Kamala will abandon her own morals, as well as try to bury her record as a prosecutor, in order to appease the anti-police extremists controlling the Democrat Party.” In fact, Harris specifically said she was not calling Biden a racist in that first Democratic debate last year.Despite the campaign’s use of “Phony Kamala” on Tuesday, President Trump is still workshopping “effective nicknames” for Biden’s now-announced running mate, a source with direct knowledge said.Trump’s Twitter feed also blasted out a “Trump War Room” web video that bashed the Democratic VP selection as someone who started running in the 2020 primary by “rushing to the radical left,” and who later trashed Biden’s “racist policies” before primary voters decisively “rejected” her. The Team Trump video goes on to mock “Slow Joe” for not being “smart” enough to reject her, as well.Trump, for his part on Tuesday, called Harris “nasty” during his daily press conference and rambled for several minutes about various parts of her record he didn’t like. But it was her questioning of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings that truly raised his ire. “I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate,” he said. Indeed, the tactic resembles some Democratic efforts to steer Biden away from selecting Harris as his running mate. Behind the scenes, some Biden allies told the campaign that they felt Harris was too “ambitious,” CNBC reported last month. Efforts by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) to encourage a VP pick other than Harris were interpreted in similar fashion.The recriminations and allegations of sexism were loud enough to warrant public pushback from the Biden campaign. “Ambitious women make history, change the world, and win,” tweeted Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager. “Our campaign is full of ambitious women going all out for Joe Biden.”The portrayal of Biden as an “empty shell,” as the other Trumpworld source put it, has largely fed an effort by the Trump campaign to portray Biden as in thrall to, and at the mercy of, more radical elements of the Democratic Party. Biden’s selection of Harris complicates that line of attack a bit. She’s considered more progressive than Biden, but not as far to the left as other 2020 Democratic contenders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.Nonetheless, in conversations prior to Biden’s announcement with three other individuals working on the Trump reelect, each conceded that whether it is Harris or anyone else on the shortlist, tagging Biden with the “radical left” label was going to be the pitch to voters in these final months regardless. Even if Harris’ radicalism remains an elusive sell to voters, the tactic, Trump allies hope, will drive home their central line of attack against Biden: as one source put it, “he's not going to be running the country.” Indeed, Trump himself largely ignored Harris during her run for the Democratic presidential nomination, even as he frequently railed against rivals such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). When he did go after Harris, Trump was uncharacteristically mild in his criticism.Some allies of the president and veterans of his political operation shrugged off the process entirely, suggesting the line of attack would hold no matter who was at the bottom of the ticket. “The VP pick matters much more the day before it’s made than it does the day after,” said Ed Brookover, who served as a senior Trump adviser during the 2016 campaign. “It’s always about the presidential nominees... The differences between the potential selections is very narrow.”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.

8/11/2020 5:12:59 PM

Protesters in Minneapolis say they won't clear barricades around the George Floyd Memorial until the city leaders meet their 24 demandsSome of the demands include recalling Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, and ending qualified immunity.

8/12/2020 10:50:33 PM