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Week In Review

By Angela Peco Edited by Elissa D. Hecker

Below, for your browsing convenience, the categories are divided into: Entertainment, Arts, Sports, Media/Technology, and General News:


Supreme Court Will Not Hear 'Stairway to Heaven' Copyright Case

The Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case leaves in place the appeals court ruling that Led Zeppelin did not copy part of a 1968 song by Spirit.

Broadway Will Remain Closed Through May 2021

Many Broadway theaters will stay shut at least through May of next year, with some not planning to reopen until next fall. The Broadway League, the trade organization representing producers and theater owners, said that it was suspending ticket sales through May 30th.

Rapper Tory Lanez Charged with Assault in Shooting

The rapper is accused of wounding Megan Thee Stallion by firing at her feet after an argument last summer.


Supreme Court Decides Not to Hear Case Involving Destroyed Mural

The decision cements a ruling that awarded 21 graffiti artists $6.75 million after a New York City developer painted over the murals at a Queens warehouse known as 5Pointz complex in 2013. The earlier ruling found that street art/graffiti was of sufficient stature to be protected by the law.

There's Not Much Work for Actors. Now Their Unions Are Fighting.

At issue is which union should represent theater performers and stage managers working on streamed performances. Actors' Equity Association, the labor union that represents theater actors and stage managers, is accusing SAG-AFTRA, the union representing those who work in film, TV, and radio, of encroaching on theaters "and undercutting its contracts by negotiating lower-paying deals with theaters for streaming productions." SAG-AFTRA contracts are also leaving out stage managers. SAG-AFTRA maintains that "work made for broadcast has always been its domain."

Mellon Foundation Launches $250 Million Initiative to Reimagine Monuments

The project will support the creation of new monuments and facilitate the relocation or "rethinking" of existing memorials and statues. The grant will include "a definitive audit of the existing commemorative landscape across the country" to see what percentage, for example, are dedicated to women.

Black Trustees Join Forces to Make Art Museums More Diverse

Black board members have formed an alliance to diversify art museums by recruiting more Black directors, artists, and curators whose perspective will better reflect the communities they serve.

Baltimore Museum of Art to Sell 3 Blue-Chip Paintings to Advance Equity

The museum is taking advantage of a temporary "loosening of deaccessing guidelines" that allow museums to sell art "from museum collections to fund the direct care of collections - not just the acquisition of other artworks." The museum expects to receive $65 million from the sale and use those funds for salary increases, diversity and inclusion programs, and to eliminate admission fees for special exhibitions.

New Museum Exacts Toll on Workers

Although critics acknowledge the success of its exhibitions, they say that the museum's ascent has come at the expense of those who work there. Former and current staff members complain of low pay, low morale, unhealthy work conditions, and of being asked to act unethically.

Finding a New Home for a Painful Past - The Jefferson Davis Statue in Kentucky

The relocation of a Jefferson Davis statue continues the debate of where to house monuments that honour the Confederacy. This specific statue was removed from the Kentucky State Capitol and is being stored in an undisclosed location. The plan to take the statue to Fairview, Kentucky raises question about how appropriate it is for towns to invest more taxpayer dollars in new museums to recontextualize these statues.

Report Asks Dutch To Return Nazi-Looted Artwork

The country's restitution efforts have come under scrutiny because its policies for returning looted art have become stricter. At issue for international critics is a policy that requires the panel that hear restitution cases "to balance the interests of national museums against the claims by Jewish survivors or their heirs;" in other words, the panel is asked to weigh "the significant of the work to public art collections against the emotional attachment of the claimant," which has already led to some requests being rejected because the artwork was important to the Dutch museum that housed it.


National Football League Adds New COVID-19 Protocols to Monitor Mask Wearing

The National Football League (NFL) introduced measures like video surveillance to monitor compliance with mask wearing policies in team facilities and while traveling. It is trying to prevent another outbreak by also limiting the number of free agent tryouts per week and placing bans on gatherings outside team facilities. In a memo sent to teams, the NFL said that protocol violations that result in virus spread "will result in additional financial and competitive discipline including the adjustment or loss of draft choice or even the forfeit of a game." Meanwhile, virus cases from the Patriots and Titans forced the NFL to once again reschedule games.

One Name the Women's National Basketball Association Won't Say

The article describes the social justice activities of Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) players, including their support for Senator Kelly Loeffler's political opponents. Loeffler is the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream. The players have denounced Loeffler's views but refuse to bring up the senator's name in their public pronouncements and social media, instead marshalling their resources in support of another candidate.

Chinese State TV to Air National Basketball Association Game for First Time Since Hong Kong Rift

China Central Television began by airing Friday's finals game and suggests a softening of tension between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and China, tensions that are said to have cost the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.


Supreme Court Hears Copyright Battle Between Google and Oracle

At issue is what elements of computer code can be copyrighted, and if that code is covered by copyright, when is it still legal to use pieces of it under fair use. Given the complexity of the issue, the Court relied on familiar analogies to understand the nature of the coding language Oracle acquired in 2010. Oracle sued Google after it reverse engineered Java and copied the "structure, sequence and organization" of software code when it was building its Android platform.

Judge Rules Apple Can Keep Fortnite Out of App Store

A federal judge ruled this week that Apple did not have to reinstate videogame Fortnite in its App Store, finding that Epic Games had violated its contract with Apple. Apple removed the app from its store after Epic started encouraging users to pay for it directly, rather than through Apple, as contractually required. The case will go to trial next May.

U.S. Appeals Injunction Against TikTok Ban

The federal government says that the preliminary injunction on its TikTok ban should be lifted because the Chinese-owned video app presents a security risk to American users. The earlier decision delayed TikTok from being banned in U.S. app stores.

House Lawmakers Condemn Big Tech's Monopoly Power, Urge Their Breakups

The report said companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook "needed to be checked and recommended they be restructured and that antitrust laws that reformed." The recommendations included giving antitrust agencies power to police market concentration and enacting rules that make it harder for companies to acquire start-ups.

Twitter Set to Change Basic Features Before Election

The changes are meant to fight election misinformation and will start on October 20th. They include the following: If users try to share content that Twitter flags as false, a notice will warn them that they are attempting to share inaccurate information; and it will not label posts about election results until the election has been officially called.

Harry and Meghan Settle with Paparazzi

As part of a settlement in an invasion-of-privacy case, Los Angeles-based celebrity news agency X17 has agreed to turn over photos of the couple's son and destroy any copies in its databases. X17 apologized and agreed to pay a portion of the family's legal fees and to never traffic in photos taken on private grounds.

Opinion: Google and Facebook Must Pay for Local Journalism

The president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, a trade association representing about 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, takes a position on whether Google should pay publishers for the news content shown in search results. Chavern says that if Congress follows France's lead and "passes the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, publishers would be allowed to negotiate rate with Google as a group." Alternatively, he says "publishers might finally be forced to undertake their own lengthy copyright litigation."

Facebook Increases Precautions Before Election

Facebook has widened its ban on political ads by announcing that it will prohibit political and issue-based advertising after November 3rd for an indefinite amount of time. Facebook will also remove groups or accounts that openly identity with QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement.

False G.O.P. Ad Prompts QAnon Death Threats Against Democratic Congressman

New Jersey Representative Tom Malinowski is facing death threats from QAnon supporters "after the House Republicans' campaign arm falsely accused him of lobbying to protect sexual predators." Malinowski led a bipartisan resolution condemning the movement, which spreads conspiracy theories.

American Apologizes for Bad Reviews of Thailand Hotel

The American was jailed for disparaging a Thailand hotel in an online review and has since had to apologize as part of a deal to avoid prosecution. The case laid bare the harsh impact of the country's defamation laws; a conviction can result in up to two years in prison.

General News

Supreme Court Starts Term with Case on Judges' Political Ties

The case involves provisions of Delaware's Constitution aimed at ensuring partisan balance on state courts. At issue is whether states can consider political affiliation when appointing judges in order to strike some ideological balance on their courts. Delaware is defending the provisions that were challenged by a registered independent, who said they violated the First Amendment. The state's lawyer argued that "political scientists ... use political party affiliations as proxies for philosophy and ideology" and that requiring judges to be affiliated with one of the two major parties in order to sit on state courts supports a bipartisan judiciary.

Supreme Court Revives Witness Requirement for South Carolina Absentee Ballots

Absentee ballots in South Carolina will now have to be accompanied by a witness's signature. The Court made an exception for ballots already cast, but reversed the lower courts and their finding that the requirement interfered with people's right to vote during a pandemic. In a concurring opinion, Justice Kavanaugh said that the Court was reluctant to accept changes to election procedures made close to Election Day, and that federal judges should not second guess state election laws.

Supreme Court Declines to Revive Restriction on Abortion Pill

The Supreme Court did not reinstate a federal requirement that women seeking medical abortions pick up the pills in person. Citing the pandemic, a federal judge had previously suspended the requirement, saying that a "needless trip to a medical facility during a health crisis very likely imposed an undue burden on the constitutional right to abortion." The Supreme Court instructed the trial judge to take a fresh look at the case and rule within 40 days.

Justices Thomas and Alito Question 2015 Same-Sex Marriage Precedent

In their opinion in a case about the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Justices Thomas and Alito raised concerns about the harm they perceived in the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges decision to religious freedom. In their view, the decision chose "to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendments, and by doing so undemocratically, the court has created a problem that only it can fix."

New Supreme Court Term Could End Roberts's Dominant Role

The possible addition of Judge Amy Coney Barrett would push the Supreme Court further right and eliminate Chief Justice Roberts' "ability to steer the Court toward moderation."

Harris Puts Pence on the Defensive as Virus Response Takes Center Stage at Debate

The vice president and Senator Kamala Harris exchanged sharp remarks over the administration's coronavirus response, which featured prominently as an issue at the debate. Harris denounced Trump's policies on the economy, health care, and the environment while Pence "hailed the 'V-shaped recovery' of the economy in defiance of the latest government data.

Kamala Harris and the 'Double Bind' of Racism and Sexism

Reactions to Harris' debate performance showed "not only the bias that women and people of color face, but the fact that for women of color, that bias is more than the sum of its parts."

President Trump Refuses Virtual Debate; Second Presidential Debate Cancelled

This is the first cancellation of a televised debate in seven decades. The president argued for an in-person debate after refusing a virtual format and saying that he would soon be cleared by his doctor to appear in public. Meanwhile, Biden plans to hold a televised town-hall gathering with voters on the night that was reserved for the debate.

Trump Administration Seeks to Limit Regulatory Powers Against Coal

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments this week on whether the federal government has "the authority to set national restrictions on carbon emissions or force states to move away from coal-fired power." The outcome hinges on the interpretation of the Clean Air Act, with the administration arguing for a narrow interpretation to, in turn, "narrow the foundation of the federal government in doing any kind of regulation."

Trump Leans on Barr and Pompeo for a Campaign Jolt

Comments by Secretary of State Pompeo suggest that he intends to hand the president "a weapon to attack his political foes" by making Hillary Clinton's emails public. Attorney General Barr, on the other hand, has resisted pressure from the president to indict Democrats connected to the original investigation into Russian election interference and said he plans no major moves before the election.

Lifting Ban, Barr Pushes Inquiries Into Voter Fraud Before Election

In a memo to top prosecutors, "the department loosened a decades-long policy intended to keep law enforcement from affecting election results. The policy had prohibited prosecutors from making headline-grabbing charges of election fraud in the run-up to an election" so as not to "depress voter turnout or erode confidence in the results." The recent shift to deploy prosecutors to investigate voter fraud began in late August and will focus on noncitizens voting illegally and on mail carriers who discard ballots.

Absentee Voting from Democrats Far Outpaces 2016

Absentee voting in states like Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina is so far favoring Democrats, with 647,000 votes already cast. The number of returned ballots in five states is more than 20% of the entire 2016 turnout.

Director of National Intelligence Serving Trump's Political Agenda Despite Pledge to Stay Apolitical

Director John Ratcliffe has reportedly approved more declassifications of intelligence that undermines the Russia investigation. The director of the CIA opposed the move, saying the release of unverified material "could jeopardize spies' ability to gather intelligence and endanger their sources."

Trump Administration Ignores Ruling that His Acting Officials Are Serving Illegally

The acting head of the Bureau of Land Management continues to serve even after a federal judge ruled that he has been serving unlawfully for over 424 days. He is the third official the courts have found to be working in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which governs appointments of temporary officials. The case is an example of "the president's penchant for filling high-level jobs without Senate confirmation." In this case, there are concerns that William Perry Pendley's background has not properly been vetted, including his legal advocacy for extractive resource industries on public lands.

Administration Halted Release of Five Prisoners Cleared to Leave Guantanamo

In a reversal of Obama-era policies, the Trump administration has halted prisoner transfers to other countries. The State Department also dismantled the office that dealt with resettlement deals, where receiving countries would undertake to guard against the prisoners becoming security risks.

Manhattan District Attorney Can Obtain Trump's Tax Returns

A federal appeals panel ruled that the Manhattan District Attorney can enforce a subpoena seeking Trump's personal and corporate tax returns. In doing so, it rejected arguments by the president's lawyers that the subpoena was too broad and amounted to political harassment.

Trump's Taxes Trace Payments to Properties by Those Who Got Ahead

The article describes President Trump "earned millions as a gatekeeper to his own administration" and "transplanted favor-seeking in Washington to his family's hotels and resorts." The piece outlines how special interest groups and foreign governments patronized Trump's properties, providing a revenue stream for his real estate holdings, while reaping benefits from the administration.

Trump's Taxes Show He Generated a Windfall in 2016

Trump's tax records show $21 million in payments from a Las Vegas hotel that Trump owns with Phil Ruffin. The payments were routed through other Trump companies and paid out in cash to "self-fund" his presidential campaign, which was then short on funds. By that time, Deutsche Bank had turned down Trump's request for a loan to support his golf resort in Scotland, fearing "the money would instead be diverted to his campaign."

Justice Department Sues Yale, Citing Race Discrimination

Following a multiyear investigation, the Department of Justice takes issue with the school's admissions practices and has sued Yale for discriminating against white and Asian-American applicants after it found that they were one-eighth to one-fourth as likely to be admitted as African-American applicants with comparable academic credentials.

Health Coverage Among Children Fell for Third Straight Year

According to census data, "the share of children with health coverage in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive year in 2019," even "during a period of economic growth" that preceded the coronavirus job losses that cost more Americans their health insurance.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Scientists for Work on Genome Editing

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna developed the Crispr tool, which edits genes in animals, plants, and microorganisms. The technology has far-reaching applications in research seeking cures for genetic disorders.

Nobel Prize in Medicine Goes to Scientists Who Found Hepatitis C Virus

The three scientists were jointly honored for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, which made possible blood tests and new medicines that can now cure a disease that impacts 71 million people worldwide.

United Nations World Food Program Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel committee said the agency's work to address hunger during the pandemic "had laid the foundations for peace in nations ravaged by war." The program provided assistance to nearly 100 million people in 88 countries in the last year.

FBI Says Michigan Group Plotted to Kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Authorities announced terrorism, conspiracy, and weapons charges against 13 men, at least half of whom had hatched a plan to storm the state capitol and abduct Governor Witmer, who has become a target of anti-government groups angry over coronavirus control measures.

Heavy Traffic Crashes Florida's Voter Registration Site

The state extended its voter registration deadline given the delays many encountered with the online system. The site was experiencing more than one million requests per hour on Monday in anticipation of the midnight Monday deadline.

Texas Attorney General Accused by Top Aides of Abuse of Office

Members of Ken Paxton's staff say that "he should be investigated in connection with offenses including improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential criminal acts" but did not elaborate on the substance of their allegations. Paxton was previously indicted on felony charges related to securities fraud.

New York City Council Expels Members

Andy King, a Democratic councilman from the Bronx, was voted out after an ethics probe. The Council's ethics committee found that the allegations against King, including harassment and discrimination, conflicts of interest and disorderly conduct, were substantiated.

Eric Trump Interviewed in New York Fraud Inquiry

The president's son was questioned under oath this week as part of the New York Attorney General's civil investigation into where Trump's real estate company committed fraud by inflating its assets to secure bank loans and tax benefits.

Top Trump Fund-Raiser Elliott Broidy Charged in Lobbying Case

Broidy is accused of conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Prosecutors say he attempted to use his political ties to help Malaysian and Chinese interests in the federal investigation of Malaysian fund 1MDB.

Agencies Concede Poor Planning in California Blackouts

The state's three central energy organizations said the rolling blackouts ordered during a heat wave this summer - the first in two decades - were partly attributable to poor planning that, combined with increased demand, led to a reduced power supply. Officials also failed to properly forecast demand immediately before the blackouts and did not buy enough power.

Rochester Case Puts Focus on Police Failures with Mental Health

The methods used by the officers in Daniel Prude's case did little to defuse the situation and have brought renewed focus on police training - and whether resources should be diverted from the police to mental health professionals who can better help in these encounters.

Armenia and Azerbaijan Agree to Ceasefire on Humanitarian Grounds in Nagorno-Karabakh

The deal was brokered by Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and allows for the exchange of war prisoners and the collection of bodies from the battlefield. The conflict between the two sides escalated in recent weeks in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

World's Top Experts Affirm That Putin's Rival Was Poisoned

The organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons supported the position of European countries that a form of Novichok was used to poison Navalny.

E.U. Court Rules Against Hungary's Law Targeting Soros-Funded Schools

The ruling requires Hungary to change or repeal the law that effectively expelled an American university founded by George Soros from the country. The European Court of Justice said the law does not meet the requirements of academic freedom. Hungary can face fines for non-compliance.

Germany Documents Extremism in Forces

A report by the country's intelligence agency identified more than 1,400 instances in which members of the armed forces, "police offices and intelligence officials were suspected of extremist actions," which included joining far-right chat groups and sharing neo-Nazi propaganda. QAnon is also gaining momentum in Germany, where U.S. conspiracy theories are animating the country's far-right fringe.

Greek Neo-Fascist Party Guilty Found to Be a Criminal Organization

The country's far-right party, Golden Dawn, has been found guilty of running a criminal organization after it was tied to a string of deadly attacks.


2020 Had the Warmest September on Record

European scientists say that worldwide, last month was the warmest September on record, second only to 2019. Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest levels ever recorded due to record high temperatures.

Hotter Days Widen Racial Gap in U.S. Schools

Lack of air conditioning in schools has led to worse test scores for Black and Hispanic children during heat waves. In finding this link between heat exposure and reduced learning, researchers say the detrimental impact of climate change will disproportionately affect people of color.

Hurricane Delta Makes Landfall in Louisiana

It was the 10th hurricane to hit the U.S. this year and came so soon after Hurricane Laura hit the Louisiana coast. Storm surge warnings remain in effect.

Wolverines Denied Federal Protection

The federal government said it had decided against protecting wolverines because populations were stable, adding that "its own earlier concerns about the effects of global warming on the species had been overstated."

New England's Ailing Forests

Arborists say they are spending more time taking down dead or unhealthy trees and are incorporating climate change into their decisions because the phenomenon is taking a toll on woodlands in the Northeast. Many species are being threatened by disease and felled by storms, at a time when there is a shortage of arborists to address the growing issue.

The Benefits of Being Outdoors

The article discusses the mental health benefits of going on "awe walks," where people take a fresh look at the objects and vistas that surround them.

Prince William Launches Environmental Prize

The Earthshot Prize is worth $65 million. The goal is to select 50 projects over the next 10 years to reward innovative solutions that address climate change and other environmental issues.

Coronavirus Update

White House Blocks, Then Approves, New Coronavirus Vaccine Guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration "proposed stricter guidelines for emergency approval of a coronavirus virus." The requirements "call for gathering comprehensive safety data in the final stage of clinical trials before an emergency authorization can be granted." The White House first objected to the provisions, since they would effectively guarantee that no vaccine could be authorized before Election Day, but reversed course and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released them on Tuesday.

Vaccine Trials Struggle to Find Black Volunteers

Reports from Pittsburgh show the deep mistrust that African American communities have of vaccines. So far, only about 3% of the people who have signed up nationally are Black.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Says That Coronavirus Can Linger Indoors

In new advice posted to its website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges airborne transmission and says the virus can spread beyond six feet indoors by both large and small droplets released when people cough, sneeze, sing, talk or breathe.

Hundreds of Thousands of Women Drop Out of the Workforce

The article examines the ways pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of women to leave the job market. Families "buckling under the caregiving burden" have had the lower wage earner, who is usually the woman, leave the workforce to care for children in the face of school and child care center closures.

Trump Suggests Gold Star Families May Be to Blame for His Infection

After testing positive for the coronavirus, the president suggested that family members of fallen military veterans may have been responsible for the transmission because they "come within an inch of my face sometimes."

Under Pence, Politics Regularly Seeped into Coronavirus Response

The article recounts exchanges between Vice President Pence and staffers showing that political considerations seeped into the administration's decisions about how to respond to the coronavirus. "Science-based projections were sometimes de-emphasized for rosier predictions" and the taskforce was "bent on carrying out the president's agenda."

CDC's Order for Masks on Transit Was Blocked

The White House blocked the CDC from mandating masks on public transit. The order was drafted last month and would have required "all passengers and employees to wear masks on all forms of public and commercial transit in the United States." The White House Coronavirus Task Force declined to discuss the draft order, saying that the decision to require masks should be left up to states and local authorities.

CDC Director Faces Pressure to Speak Out

Former director of the CDC and renowned epidemiologist William Foege is calling on CDC director Robert Redfield to expose the failed U.S. response to the coronavirus. He called for this action in a private letter, saying that speaking up at this point would ensure there would be a record of the administration's failures that could not be dismissed.

How the White House Flouted Basic Coronavirus Rules

The article reports on White House practices that precipitated an outbreak and led to more than 20 people becoming infected. The article touches on the reliance on rapid tests alone, non-compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines, violation of local restrictions on gatherings, lack of contact tracing and failure to quarantine or isolate on the part of those working in the White House.

White House Plans Week Full of Events with Potential Risks

A week after his hospitalization, President Trump is planning to hold rallies again. Following a gathering of conservative activists on the South Lawn, whom Trump addressed from the White House balcony, he is next expected to fly to Florida, Pennsylvania, and Iowa for rallies. Attendees will still be asked to sign a waiver but will be required to wear a mask and submit to temperature checks.

President Trump Projects Strength While Physicians Disclose Alarming Episodes

Despite the president's account that his condition was never serious and has since improved, troubling facts have emerged after his doctors acknowledged two alarming episodes not previously disclosed. His doctors said the president's blood oxygen level dropped twice in the two days post-diagnosis, and that he had been put on steroids.

Meanwhile, most of the joint chiefs are under quarantine due to exposure, but military officials said "all of the service chiefs had full operational capability from where they were working ... [and] their quarantine would not mean any degradation to the country's national defense."

Trump is Undermining Public Health Messages with His Comments

Experts were outraged by the president's comments urging Americans not to be afraid of COVID and not to let it dominate their lives, saying the message was irresponsible and encouraged his followers to ignore basic recommendations. Despite the president's illness, many of his supporters still scoff at masks and other safety measures as the president continues to downplay the risk and called contracting the virus "a blessing from God."

Safety Concerns for the Secret Service

As a willingness to say "yes" to the president is central to the job, questions are being asked about the extent to which that guiding principle will subject secret service agents' health "to the whims of a contagious president." Medical experts were particularly critical of Trump's actions last week when he took a ride on a hermetically sealed vehicle with two Secret Service agents present in personal protective equipment.

Attorney General Barr Plans to Return to Work After Negative Tests

Barr is considered an essential worker exempt from guidelines requiring 14-day quarantine following exposure. Barr was present at the White House event linked to the outbreak but has tested negative several times.

Experts Say Plexiglass Barriers Won't Stop Virus at the Debate

Public health experts said plexiglass barriers installed for the vice-presidential debate will not prevent airborne transmission. The barriers might have made a difference if they were not seated more than 12 feet apart, but they don't protect against aerosols that can carry the virus indoors. Vice-president Pence's team initially objected to the measure but later accepted its use.

Judge Upholds New York's Restrictions on Gatherings in Houses of Worship

After an emergency hearing, a federal judge declined to temporarily block an executive order restricting gatherings at synagogues and other houses of worship, "finding that the rules did not violate the free exercise of religion for Orthodox Jews," even though she sympathized with the order's impact on the Orthodox Jewish community.

Man Charged in Death of Bar Patron Following Mask Wearing

An 80-year old man was killed after asking a bar patron to wear mask near Buffalo, New York. Following a physical altercation with the patron, the man was pushed to the ground and later died. A 65-year-old man of West Seneca, New York, was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Signs Suggest Second Wave for Northeast

Several states in the Northeast are seeing new clusters of the coronavirus, prompting authorities to tighten or put in place restrictions to avoid the upward trend in cases from turning into a second wave.

Trump Raises Stimulus Offer to $1.8 Trillion; Senate Republicans Denounce Offer

After negotiations failed earlier in the week, the president proposed a plan that was nearly double the original offer last put forward by the administration. Trump had called off talks earlier in the week, hours after the Federal Reserve chair "warned that the pace of the economic recovery would" be slower that initially expected and called for economic support. Many thought the move signalled growing concerns among vulnerable Senate Republicans facing re-election that voters will blame the party for failing to deliver aid, but Senate Republicans balked "at what they called an exorbitantly costly plan" that "would amount to a death knell for the party's ambitions to retain its majority in the Senate."

Lenders Wait for Guidance on Loan Forgiveness

Business owners who received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program are waiting for information on how to apply for loan forgiveness as many lenders have yet to start accepting applications. There is also the possibility that "Congress will pass a proposal to automatically forgive debt of less than $150,000, the bulk of the loans made under the program."

As Coronavirus Invades West Wing, White House Reporters Face Higher Risks

At least three White House correspondents have tested positive for the coronavirus, as has the press secretary and two of her deputies. The reporters have taken it upon themselves to create makeshift signs about mask-wearing in the absence of White House protocols for the press corps. BuzzFeed recently pulled its reporter, citing "concerns about working indoors during an outbreak."

Families of Workers Who Died of COVID-19 Following Meat Plant Outbreak Fight for Compensation

The families of employees at a Colorado meat-processing plant are seeking compensation after the workers fell ill or died of COVID-19. So far, JBS has denied "compensation claims on the grounds that the illnesses were not necessarily work related," while also relying on the fact that it is difficult to trace exactly where the individuals became infected.

Clinical Trials Hit by Ransomware Attack on Health Tech Firm

Philadelphia company eResearch Technology, whose software is used in clinical trials, was hit by a ransomware attack that slowed some of these trials because employees were locked out of the data. An earlier ransomware attack also impacted a major hospital chain (Universal Health Services) in the U.S.

Nearly One-Third of COVID Patients in Study Had Altered Mental State

A Chicago-area study of 509 hospitalized patients showed they had "signs of deteriorating neurological function, ranging from confusion to coma-like unresponsiveness." These patients stayed in hospital three times as long, and of those discharged, only 32% could handle routine daily activities.

Pandemic Has Hindered Best Practices for Reducing Violence

While reported crime has declined this year, shootings and homicides are up around the country. The reason for these counterintuitive results might be the pandemic and the fact that it has upended many of the programs devised to reduce gun violence, like group behavioral therapy, social services, and job training, that have either moved online or were cancelled.

New Zealand Emerges from Lockdown with Zero Cases

After a second round of strict lockdown, New Zealand has stamped out the virus once again, but experts caution that the country's small population and isolation means that it has more favorable conditions to manage the disease.

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