Monday, July 27, 2020

For many, no childcare means no work

With schools and daycare centers shut or considered too risky due to the ongoing pandemic, millions of Americans are dropping out of the workforce to provide care for young children. New U.S. Census data shows 9 million people said they were unable to work this month because they had to care for children out of school or an elderly person, with women disproportionately affected. The coronavirus crisis has put a spotlight on the country’s childcare conundrum and the need for paid family and sick leave. (Bloomberg)


Firms cut back on office space

As remote work grows in popularity over the pandemic and companies look to cut costs, U.S. businesses are shrinking their physical offices. Over 25 big companies have shared plans to cut back on office space — the second-biggest expense after payrolls — in the year ahead, according to a Reuters analysis of earnings calls. Even once the pandemic is contained, the move to remote work will likely mean office demand shrinks by up to 15%, according to research firm Green Street Advisors. (Reuters)


Jobless claims are climbing again

More than 1.4 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week, the first increase in three months, as business re-openings rolled back in several states amid new spikes in coronavirus cases. The upturn from around 1.3 million claims marks the end of a descent from 6.9 million in late March, when shutdowns went into effect. A Census Bureau survey showed a 4.1 million drop in those with jobs during the first two weeks of this month, suggesting the unemployment rate may head back up in coming weeks. (United States Department of Labor)


Souvenir Taken From Colorado Park Mailed Back Because ‘Bad Things Been Happening’

Colorado Parks and Wildlife got an interesting piece of mail recently containing a rock and a short note. The sender wrote that someone had taken the rock from a park in Colorado. They wanted to return it and hopefully get some better luck back. “Someone brought this home to me three years ago,” the sender wrote. “Bad things been happening ever since. Sure one of you can find which park it belongs in,” the author added. CPW shared a photo of the note and the rock — but covered the sender’s signature. “Will taking rocks from a [Colorado] State Park curse you with bad luck?” CPW tweeted. “This person thought it did and mailed it back to the SE Region office.” “The best practice when visiting any park or wilderness is to take only photographs and leave only footprints,” CPW tweeted. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife Twitter)


Man arrested after photo of kneeling on White toddler’s neck goes viral

A 20-year-old man reportedly had a great idea for promoting Black Lives Matter — kneeling on a White 2-year-old’s neck. According to reports by multiple Dayton, Ohio, TV stations, the man was arrested and is being detained over the photo, which was widely circulated on social media last week. The photo shows the shirtless Black man kneeling on the neck of a White toddler while a different Black person’s arms are holding the prostrate, crying child’s arms behind his back. The photo has the caption “Blm now mf.” The Black Lives Matter movement received a huge boost by the Memorial Day death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman who kneeled on his neck for eight minutes. “Two divisions of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office immediately began an investigation to determine the location of the incident and the identities of the individuals involved,” the sheriff’s office statement said in a statement. The police also were able to find the child and made contact with his mother. (Dayton 247)


A Canadian court has ruled that the country cannot send refugees back to the U.S. because doing so will expose them to detention and removal

Since 2004, Canada has been sending refugees who try to enter the country through its southern border back to the U.S. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) that was approved that year, the U.S. has been doing the same. But in her ruling, Justice Ann Marie McDonald said that if refugees are returned, they will likely be imprisoned in the U.S. She said that complying with the STCA would violate the “life, liberty and security of the person” that is deported. The STCA only applies to legal points of entry. Since 2017, more than 58,200 people have filed asylum claims after entering Canada through “irregular” points of entry. Canada faces a backlog of some 90,000 asylum applications. The Canadian government has asked Washington to amend the STCA so those crossing the border illegally can be returned to the U.S. Since the pandemic hit, the U.S. has agreed to take back refugees that cross into Canada through irregular points of entry. (The Washington Post)


A four-year-old boy has signed a deal to publish a book of poems that will be out next summer

The young boy was discovered by poet and teacher, who helped the young poet become an online celebrity when she shared some of his poems on social media. He was then interviewed by a British TV network and a national newspaper. Now he has landed a book deal. His poems explore “love and loneliness” from a child’s perspective, says publisher Walker Books. He is excited about the book deal. “I feel happy that my poems will be in a book,” he said. “When my poems are in a book, can I please have a copy?” (Guardian)


Coronavirus is weakening, could die on its own without vaccine – Italian expert

The novel coronavirus is no longer lethal as it used to be and could die on its own without a vaccine, an Italian expert has said. The Head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy hinted at a possible end in sight of the virus after stating that COVID-19 was losing its virulence since most patients who would have died from the disease in March or April were now recovering, thus becoming less lethal. (MSN)


Bumpy start for a streaming newbie

Some 4.1 million subscribers have activated their HBO Max accounts since AT&T’s streaming service launched in May, the company has revealed. Roughly 26.5 million subscribers were given access to the free service, which combines HBO with WarnerMedia content, suggesting a majority of traditional HBO customers have not tried it. The figures come as WarnerMedia has not yet reached deals for HBO Max with Amazon and Roku, which control 70% of the market. Rival Disney+ signed up 10 million in its first 24 hours. (TechCrunch)


The GOP has scrapped plans to hold an in-person event in Florida in which President Trump was due to be nominated as the party’s presidential candidate

The event, part of the four-day Republican National Convention, was initially due to take place in Charlotte, N.C., but the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, asked the GOP to hold a scaled-down convention to protect attendants from coronavirus. Last month, Trump decided to move the event to Jacksonville, Florida, because he wanted a full arena. “To have a big convention is not the right time,” President Trump said due to Florida’s high number of COVID-19 cases. 336 GOP delegates will meet in Charlotte on August 24th to formally nominate Trump as the party’s candidate. Trump is yet to announce whether he will accept the nomination in an online event. The Democratic convention is scheduled for August 17-20th in Milwaukee. Joe Biden will accept his nomination in an in-person event but most of the convention will be online. (AP News)


Banks are closing credit cards and slashing credit limits amid the pandemic, survey finds

As the economic fallout of the pandemic continues to unfold, banks are rushing to close credit card accounts or slash credit limits to curb their risk. One in 4 Americans with credit cards said they had an account involuntarily shut down from mid-May to mid-July, while 1 in 3 said their credit limit was reduced, according to a new report that surveyed 1,003 credit cardholders. This follows a similar rate of reductions in April and comes as many Americans battle joblessness and uncertain economic futures, but now with reduced access to credit. (CompareCards)


Feds accuse ex-Philly congressman Myers of stuffing ballots

A federal grand jury indicted a disgraced former Pennsylvania congressman, accusing the well-connected Philadelphia Democrat of election fraud during primary elections in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The indictment charges former U.S. Rep. Michael J. “Ozzie” Myers, who by the way was expelled from Congress after a he was caught taking bribes in the Abscam sting investigation in the 1970s, with paying cash to an elections judge to fabricate votes for his clients. The now 77-year-old-man is accused of election fraud, conspiracy and obstruction in the indictment. Jurors charge that Myers gave cash to an elections judge, who awaits sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to deprive voters of their civil rights and other violations. In return, the jurors said, the election judge added fake votes to the total for Myers’ campaign consultancy clients, who were not identified in the indictment. A U.S. Attorney said in a statement that ballot stuffing also occurred for other candidates for federal, state and local offices. (AP News)


Walmart shopper charged with pulling gun during mask dispute

A Florida man is facing felony charges for pointing a gun at another Walmart shopper who had told him to wear a mask, officials said. According to an arrest report, the 28-year-old admitted to sheriff’s investigators he was the shopper in surveillance video who pulled a gun during a July 12th argument with an employee who had told him to wear a mask because of the coronavirus pandemic. Palm Beach County requires masks be worn in stores. The man was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and improper exhibition of a firearm after surrendering to Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies. At a hearing, bail was set at $15,000. (ABC News)


Monday Makes A difference With:

  • Crème Brûlée Day
  • Love is Kind Day
  • New Jersey Day
  • Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day (Always Last Saturday)
  • Scotch Day
  • Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day
  • Walk on Stilts Day

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