Kanye West announces US presidential bid on Twitter
- It was not immediately clear if West was serious about vying for the presidency four months before the November 3 election or if he had filed any official paperwork to appear on state election ballots.
- The US President used a weekend dedicated to patriotism to signal that he will spend the final four months of his re-election effort digging deeper into the nation's racial and cultural divides.
- The average number of daily coronavirus cases in the United States set a record for the 26th straight day as Donald Trump delivered a divisive speech at the foot of Mount Rushmore.
- Donald Trump's characteristically erratic and narcissistic mishandling of the triple-whammy health, economic, and racial crises means he deserves the defeat he is headed for in November.
Pressure on Prince Andrew to speak to FBI without Home Office role
- London | The UK Government hopes the Duke of York will agree to speak directly to the FBI over his links to Ghislaine Maxwell without the need for ministers to intervene, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
- Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, is facing a diplomatic quandary after US prosecutors submitted a formal request for the Duke to speak to them about claims Ms Maxwell trafficked young women for sex for Jeffrey Epstein.
- But it is now understood the Government is in favour of the stand-off between the Duke and the FBI being sorted out between the two parties, rather than by any ministerial intervention under a MLA.
- US prosecutors said they would "welcome" the Duke's testimony as part of the FBI investigation, with Audrey Strauss, the acting US attorney for the Southern District for New York, urging the Duke to come forward to be questioned.
Europe is distancing itself from the US and turning to another world superpower
- "In the past, I can see that we might have not included China in order to keep the US happy," says an EU diplomat not authorized to speak on record about how the decision was made.
- One of the ways Brussels thinks it can distance itself from DC is by engaging with China as a strategic and economic partner, decreasing its reliance on one of the world's superpowers by balancing its relationship with the other.
- One Brussels official who works on EU foreign policy but is not authorized to speak on the record said the shift away from Europe as a geopolitical priority began under former US president Barack Obama.
- "Trump considers the EU, especially Germany, an economic and trade rival, which means tensions can be expected in the case he gets a second term," says Velina Tchakarova, from the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.
Our country is in chaos. But it's a great time to be an American
- Something has shifted in America when the Mississippi state flag, which bears the cross of the Confederate battle flag, is taken down while the popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement soars to an all-time high.
- The protesters who flooded the streets this spring to protest racism exemplify the revolutionary spirit of America just as much as the white colonists in powdered wigs, says Melanye Price, a professor at Prairie View A&M University in Texas who specializes in African-American politics.
- In some ways, the protesters who took to the streets this year did a better job of honoring the words of the Declaration of Independence than the Founding Fathers, she says.
- The Black Lives Matter protesters and others who recently took to the streets to demonstrate were not that different.
- The Black Lives Matter protesters may exceed the Founding Fathers in another way -- they're forcing the nation to face its racism.
Instagram star flaunted lavish lifestyle but was actually conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars, US prosecutors say
- According to a federal affidavit, one of the alleged victims was the client of a New York-based law firm that lost nearly a million dollars in 2019.
- Prosecutors allege Abbas is one of the leaders of a global network that uses computer intrusions, business email compromise (BEC) schemes and money laundering capers to steal hundreds of millions of dollars.
- A criminal complaint filed last month alleges that Abbas and an unnamed person conspired to launder funds from a $14.7 million heist of a foreign financial institution in 2019.
- Authorities said he was part of a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of about $922,857 in October 2019.
- The FBI says in the criminal complaint that Abbas and others tricked a paralegal at the law firm into wiring the money meant for a real estate refinance into an account that Abbas and his co-conspirators were using.
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell? The woman at the center of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal
- London (CNN) - The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested in connection with an investigation into her ex-boyfriend, the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
- Ghislaine Maxwell was the ex-girlfriend turned social companion of Epstein, who died by suicide in his jail cell at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on federal charges of sexually abusing underage girls and running a sex trafficking ring.
- Virginia Roberts -- who now goes by Virginia Giuffre -- accused Maxwell of being the person who introduced her to Epstein and allegedly forced her to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old.
- "In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that just made me sick," Giuffre said, adding that she had sex with the prince at Maxwell's house in London's Belgravia area.
11,000-year-old mine in underwater cave surprises archaeologists
- The mine, described in a new study published today in Science Advances, is one of the few archaeological sites to reveal where and how ancient humans extracted the vibrant pigments that have been put to a host of uses around the world, including mortuary rituals, cave painting, and even sunscreen.
- Now, with such a pristine example of an ancient ocher mine in hand, the team was able to confirm that at least two other suspected sites in submerged caves some 20 miles south of La Mina in Quintana Roo were also likely mining operations.
- The mining sites are located deep in underground systems, far from the reaches of light, says Holley Moyes of the University of California, Merced, who specializes in the ritual use of Maya caves and was not a part of the project.
These worm-like amphibians may have venomous saliva
- Most of the animals dwell underground, which is why “caecilians are maybe the most unknown group of vertebrates,” says Carlos Jared, an evolutionary biologist at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo, Brazil, and author of a new study on the animals.
- But while looking at caecilians captured in Brazil, Jared discovered a never-before-described set of dental glands that produce saliva and, possibly, venomous enzymes.
- For the research, study leader Pedro Luiz Mailho-Fontana, also a Butantan Institute evolutionary biologist, and colleagues performed analyses on saliva samples from two adult ringed caecilians (Siphonops annulatus) to determine what chemicals they contained.
- While many imagine bee stingers and snake fangs when it comes to venom delivery, Mailho-Fontana says plenty of venoms have evolved from saliva.
- “All oral glands produce a wide range of enzymes, including many of those listed.” In other words, animals can have this family of enzymes in their saliva without having a venomous variety.
How scientists know COVID-19 is way deadlier than the flu
- Using a more sophisticated calculation called the infection-fatality rate, paired with the past few months’ worth of data, the latest best estimates show that COVID-19 is around 50 to 100 times more lethal than the seasonal flu, on average.
- This statistical tool uses data on known infections, including best estimates for undiagnosed and asymptomatic cases, to put numbers on how likely it is for an infected person to die from the disease.
- Using a statistical model, epidemiologists at Columbia University estimated the infection-fatality rate for New York City based on its massive outbreak from March 1 to May 16.
- In an informal analysis published on Medium, Meyerowitz-Katz compared the infection-fatality rates from influenza to several calculated around the world so far for COVID-19.
- Using the handful of studies that have calculated infection-fatality rates for seasonal flu, Meyerowitz-Katz determined that somewhere between 1 and 10 people die for every 100,000 that are infected.
Horseshoe crab blood is key to making a COVID-19 vaccine—but the ecosystem may suffer.
- In 2016, a synthetic alternative to crab lysate, recombinant factor C (rFC), was approved as an alternative in Europe, and a handful of U.S. drug companies also began using it.
- But on June 1, 2020, the American Pharmacopeia, which sets the scientific standards for drugs and other products in the U.S., declined to place rFC on equal footing with crab lysate, claiming that its safety is still unproven.
- But she and other conservationists fear that without rFC or other alternatives available, the ongoing burden on horseshoe crab blood for COVID-19 vaccines and related therapeutics may imperil the crabs and the marine ecosystems that depend on them.
- According to the statement from Lonza, Charles River Laboratories and another lysate maker, Associates of Cape Cod, Inc., raise horseshoe crabs in hatcheries and release them into the ocean.
- Lonza’s statement says the company would also prefer to use lysate alternatives and has trademarked its own rFC, called PyroGene.