Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Virus boosts universal basic income

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed how officials in the U.S. and abroad discuss the idea of a guaranteed income for all. Once a fringe idea, universal basic income is gaining steam as the virus forces millions out of work and pushes companies to automate more. Automation would keep workers safe from infection, but it may also mean certain jobs may never come back. As elected officials negotiate the next stimulus, some form of basic income could be on the agenda. (Fast Company)


Florida man arrested for allegedly making online threats to shoot protesters

Deputies have arrested a 30-year-old man of Hillsborough County, Florida for allegedly making online threats to shoot protesters. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, they received information from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that he allegedly threatened to shoot Black Lives Matter protesters in a post he made on Facebook on July 24. After others commented that he wouldn’t actually commit the act of violence, deputies say the man replied with, “keep ur eyes on Fla news.” Further investigation revealed another violent post on the man’s account. This time, deputies say it was a photograph of playing cards from the game, “Cards Against Humanity.” The prompt read, “That’s right. I killed _____. How you ask? _____.” He ordered the cards to read, “That’s right. I killed African children. How you ask? An AR-15 assault rifle.” During interviews, he admitted to creating the posts on his Facebook account. He told HCSO deputies that he made the posts out of frustration, and wouldn’t actually hurt anyone. Deputies got an arrest warrant for man’s arrest and was arrested in Orlando by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. (Fox 13 News)


Man catches 17-foot python in Everglades

A Naples, Florida man snared a nearly 17-foot python while hunting for the invasive snakes in the Everglades. The man has been hunting pythons for about eight months. Before this catch, the largest snake he has found was about 15 feet. It is not the largest snake captured by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Python Action Team. That belongs to an 18-foot, 4-inch snake that weighed 98 pounds. Burmese pythons are an invasive species found in the Everglades in South Florida. (WSB)


Bugatti is selling a $35,000 electric car for kids

Bugatti and the London-based Little Car Company have teamed up to make 500 miniature electric Bugattis for kids and now a few of them have just become available to buy. Originally, all 500 of the mini electric cars that the companies planned to make were sold after the car was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some customers changed their minds, making a few available for new customers. This new all-electric miniature car is called the Bugatti Baby II and starts at about $35,000. It’s a modern interpretation of the original Bugatti Baby from nearly a century ago. (CNN)


Prayer is no substitute for medical care, Alaska Supreme Court says

The Alaska Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court decision that removed an elderly woman from the care of her daughter after the daughter declined to treat the woman’s epilepsy and said she would use prayer to treat her, even in a medical emergency. The daughter argued the prior decision amounted to religious discrimination because she cares for her mother “based on the tenets of religion instead of how the state wants her cared for.” The court disagreed, writing in a unanimous ruling that “by depriving her mother of personal care services and emergency services in favor of prayer,  the daughter not only fails to satisfy the essential requirements (of state law), but also puts her health and safety at risk.” The ruling  concludes nearly 13 years of action by the state, which became involved in 2007 when the daughter requested the state appoint a guardian for the mother. Alaska’s high court has repeatedly said that “no value has a higher place in our constitutional system of government than that of religious freedom,” but in this case, the court concluded that Tiffany was being placed in danger. (Anchorage Daily News)


Russia has unleashed a satellite killer

According to US Space Command, Russia has tested an anti-satellite weapon on orbit, continuing a series of aggressive actions inciting the militarization of space. According to a July 23 SPACECOM statement, Russian inspector satellite Cosmos 2543 released an object into space in proximity to another Russian satellite, an action inconsistent with its stated purpose. US officials have suggested in the past that such an object could be used as a high-speed projectile weapon to attack other satellites, the report said. “The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a US government satellite,” said the SPACECOM Commander and US Space Force Chief of Space Operations. (Asia Times)


States Education Ranked

WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 33 different metrics to come up with their findings. The 33 metrics ranged from the presence of public schools in the “top 700 U.S. public schools” to high school graduation rates among low-income students. The study used the metrics to compare all states across two main dimensions – safety and quality of public schools.

The states with the best schools are:

1. Massachusetts
2. Connecticut
3. New Jersey
4. Virginia
5. Vermont

The States with the worst schools:

47. Oklahoma
48. Alaska
49. Arizona
50. Louisiana
51. New Mexico

(Wallet Hub)


Swimmer killed in apparent shark attack off Maine coast

A woman was killed in an apparent shark attack off the coast of Maine, a rare occurrence that has only been recorded once before in the state by an unprovoked shark. Maine Marine Patrol said a witness saw the woman swimming off the shore of Bailey Island when she was injured in what appeared to be a shark attack. Two kayakers helped the person get to shore, and an ambulance provided further assistance, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, Marine Patrol said. There has only been one recorded unprovoked shark attack in Maine, according to a New England shark expert, adding that it’s possible the shark mistook the person for food. (ABC News)


Beloved Eel disappears from New Zealand pond during massive storm

A shortfin eel named Eel McPherson, who was beloved by a New Zealand city for 35 years, has bid bon voyage to its backyard pool and disappeared during a once-in-500-years flood. The eel was kept by a man for decades, first at a fish museum that he ran during the 1990s and later at his home. For the best, they hoped the eel had managed to make it to the sea. Shortfins about the age of Eel McPherson migrate from New Zealand to the Pacific Ocean and possibly off the coast of Tonga where they breed and then die, exhausted by the energy required to make the journey. The fact that the eel’s journey was “very much final” was bittersweet. (The Guardian)


Cops break up 700-person Airbnb mansion party

Three people have been charged with violating the governor’s executive order limiting gatherings after police spent hours breaking up a mansion party in Jackson Township, New Jersey that grew to over 700 people and clogged neighborhood streets with traffic, authorities said. Police said they started receiving complaints about a disturbance on Mill Pond Road around 8:30 p.m. from nearby residents. After arriving and seeing the large crowd, offices contacted the homeowner, who told them he had rented the property on Airbnb and he had left when about 200 people were there, authorities said. The home, which sits on a cul-de-sac in the suburban neighborhood, costs $795 a night to rent and is described as a “stunning 3,700+ square foot home,” according to the Airbnb listing. The host’s rules include “no parties or events.” Police said the gathering eventually grew to more than 700 people with over 100 vehicles parked in the area. As authorities tried to clear the crowd, more people continued arriving. All three of the party organizers were all issued summonses for violating the governor’s executive order, police said. Under current coronavirus restrictions in New Jersey, outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 people and indoor gatherings to 100 people or 25% of a room’s capacity, whichever is less. Authorities also received a 911 call from a nearby resident reporting that people who had left the party had broken into their residence and were damaging property, police said. This was the second large party authorities in Ocean County authorities broke up recently. (


After a party, 18 anesthesiologists at UF hospital system diagnosed with COVID

At least 17 anesthesiologist residents and a fellow at one of the premier university hospital systems in Florida contracted COVID-19 earlier this month after attending a private party together, according to hospital insiders and internal documents. The outbreak at University of Florida Health occurred after a party at a private home, according to people familiar with the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they said UF Health prohibits employees from speaking to reporters without authorization. After the party, on July 10, chairman of anesthesiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine emailed staff to report that the hospital system’s anesthesiology department had 18 positive cases of the coronavirus who were recovering at home. The cases included 14 junior residents, two senior residents, a fellow and an administrative employee, the email said. It said the anesthesiology department “wishes them well and a speedy return to good health.” It was unclear whether or when the employees were returning to work with patients. (Miami Herald)


Man arrested for allegedly using $3.9M in COVID-19 small business aid money to buy Lamborghini

A 29-year-old man in Miami, Florida was arrested on July 27 after federal authorities say he used $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to purchase a Lamborghini sports car for himself. He was charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ said that authorities seized a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan valued at $318,000 along with $3.4 million from various bank accounts at the time of his arrest. He allegedly sought roughly $13.5 million in PPP loans, writing fraudulent loan applications on behalf of several companies. The money that the man was allegedly seeking was from the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020. Some of the funds from the act were intended to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who have been negatively impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The source of the funds that were distributed to the man came from a portion of the CARES Act which authorized up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for various expenses through PPP loans. “Businesses must use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities,” according to the DOJ. (Department of Justice)


Female Doctors Are Posting Bikini Pics In Response To A Medical Journal Calling It “Unprofessional”

A medical journal had to issue an apology after posting an article criticizing female doctors that posted in bikinis or posted drinking alcohol. An article that called some social media posts “potentially unprofessional” after outraged health professionals flooded Twitter with photos of themselves posing in bikinis and holding alcoholic drinks. The hashtag #Medbikini quickly trended after the Journal of Vascular Surgery posted the article titled “Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons.” The article specifically mentioned photos that included “provocative posing in bikinis/swimwear” and “holding/consuming alcohol.” Many medical professionals argued that the contents targeted women and highlighted the sexism problem in the medical field. (CNN)


Wednesday Brings Us Joy With:

  • Army Chaplain Corps Anniversary
  • Chicken Wing Day
  • Lasagna Day
  • Lipstick Day
  • Rain Day
  • Tiger Day

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