Toppling statues is a first step toward ending Confederate myths
- Like dominoes, the Confederate statues along Richmond, Virginia’s historic Monument Avenue are coming down one by one.
- This statue of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson on Richmond’s Monument Avenue was removed on July 1, the day the city’s mayor ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues.
- In June, protesters toppled the statue on top of the column after George Floyd’s killing by police officers in Minneapolis.
- African-American artist Kehinde Wiley modeled this sculpture, “Rumors of War,” on the equestrian statue J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue.
- Virginia recently enacted a law enabling local authorities to remove Confederate monuments, but an injunction from the state Circuit Court has restricted Charlottesville’s ability to do so.
- As for the toppling of Confederates on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, I learned that the city’s oldest museum, the Valentine, was in talks with various interested parties about potentially housing them.
Flemington could be the next suburb locked down
- Flemington – the home of the Melbourne Cup – has emerged as a viral hotspot and could be the next suburban area to be locked down as officials review epidemiological data from local COVID outbreaks in Melbourne.
- Flemington and its neighbouring suburb of Kensington were named by Health Minister Jenny Mikakos as one of four postcode areas where infection have risen the fastest in the last week.
- Premier Dan Andrews said epidemiological experts would review data from the last fortnight at the weekend and any decision to expand lockdowns beyond the current 10 postcode areas would be based on the health officials' recommendation.
- Victoria's health data is organised around local government areas, but the lockdowns are by postcode, leaving officials scrambling to produce the relevant data.
- The hotspot review comes after another day of high new infection cases, with 66 cases reported, bringing the number of active cases in the state to 442.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel may ditch Trump because he thinks Trump will lose
- Thiel fears President Donald Trump will lose the race, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
- Thiel soured on Trump after COVID-19 left tens of millions of Americans unemployed; the billionaire believes that there will be a profound recession when November rolls around, making Trump vulnerable to challenge.
- Thiel was a vocal supporter of the president in 2016, speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and donating $1.25 million that year to his campaign and other adjacent political groups and causes.
- Thiel, who earned his fortune co-founding PayPal before becoming one of the earliest Facebook investors, has no plans on donating any money to Trump’s campaign this year, the report says.
- Instead of financially supporting Trump in November, Thiel now reportedly plans to focus his money on helping Republicans win Congressional races; apparently Thiel fears for the down-ballot races in the event of a Trump loss.
Trump's on a losing streak with Republicans
- That's why it's perhaps surprising that Republican voters and lawmakers have been disagreeing with Trump quite a bit lately.
- Indeed, there is some sign that Republican voters aren't nearly as enthusiastic about Trump as they were a few months ago.
- Republican lawmakers, too, have shown a willingness to buck Trump a number of times over the past few weeks.
- While Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said Trump's veto warning was "expected," the bill is likely going to pass with a veto-proof majority.
- We've also seen a number of Republican lawmakers make strong appeals for Americans to wear face masks in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Most notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has called for there to be no "stigma" in wearing a mask.
Ad spending soars as Trump plays defense in red states
- Washington (CNN) - A group of anti-Trump Republicans is spending $2 million on new TV and digital ads supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in two states President Donald Trump won in 2016 -- the latest in a blitz of ad buys in red states from both sides of the presidential race.
- According to data compiled by Kantar Media/CMAG, in June the President's campaign doubled what it had already spent this year on TV and digital ads in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
- Meanwhile, Biden's campaign has spent nearly $4 million on ads across those same seven states Trump won in 2016 -- including more than $2 million in Florida and $500,000 each in Arizona, Texas and North Carolina since the beginning of June.
- On top of that, the Trump campaign has reserved $69 million in television ads beginning in September through Election Day in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
It’s the summer of road trips. Here’s how to do it right.
- But for many Americans looking for low-risk ways to venture out, that means going on road trips, sticking closer to home, and avoiding states where virus cases are spiking.
- But many state and national park visitor centers and dining options remain shuttered, and Americans can’t cross to the Canadian side (with its arguably better views) until July 21 at the earliest.
- When you’re on the road, take advantage of the quirks of coronavirus time to make up some new family games—maybe a version of “I Spy” just for face masks?
- If you’re feeling road fatigue, switch to Arlo Hotel’s upbeat WFH (Work From Home)-inspired playlists, featuring artists like Childish Gambino and Tyler, The Creator.
- And interpreters like Keaney and Brenda Parker—who portrays enslaved Black housemaid Caroline Branham—do lose the masks when they’re stationed at outdoor, roped-off spots a few yards from visitors, the better to chat about early American farming, the Washington’s meet-cute marriage, and more.
Police contact High Court over Dyson Heydon claims
- ACT Policing has revealed inquiries are under way into sexual harassment allegations made against former High Court justice Dyson Heydon.
- With the High Court in turmoil after an internal inquiry found Mr Heydon had harassed six associates, ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan told ABC radio that inquiries were "under way" and the High Court had been contacted.
- The NSW Bar Association also confirmed on Wednesday Mr Heydon's barristers' practicing certificate was not renewed before its June 30 expiry.
- However, that may not be a simple task as applicants are required to pass a “fit and proper person” test.
- The High Court last week launched a fresh inquiry into the extent of sexual harassment in its ranks, and the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions requested the Australian Federal Police investigate Mr Heydon "to determine whether or not criminal charges should result''.
Strap in -- a virtual Tour de France kicks off this weekend on the online racing platform Zwift
- In fact, beginning this coming weekend, 23 top men’s teams and 17 women’s teams will participate in a virtual version of the event that’s being hosted by six-year-old Zwift, after it was chosen by the official race organizer of the real tour, Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), as its partner on the event.
- Though Zwift has staged virtual races before — including the Giro d’Italia, which is basically the Tour de France for Italy, and the Vuelta a Espana, an annual multi-stage race in Spain — it “doesn’t get any bigger than this,” said Min, who told us the idea was hatched six weeks ago with ASO and that Zwift has been working furiously to prepare for the race ever since.
- It already has nearly two million accounts, and while subscribers ebb and flow, depending on the time of year, the virtual Tour is an opportunity for some of those riders to “reengage,” Min says, adding that Zwift has been growing 50 percent year over year, and has unsurprisingly seen pick-up accelerate throughout the pandemic.