Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Scientists have revived microbes that laid dormant on the seafloor for 100 million years

The soil in which the microbes were trapped was collected during a 2010 expedition east of the Australian coast. They were under 20,000 feet of water and 250 feet below the seafloor. When life forms are trapped under immense pressure, like these microbes were, fossils usually form. But by feeding them oxygen and small amounts of carbon and nitrogen, the scientists were able to revive them. After several weeks of incubation, some of the microbes quadrupled in number. Microbes can live in extreme conditions in places like Antarctica and the Atacama desert in Chile. (Science Alert)


Postal service gets $10B lifeline

The U.S. Postal Service will have access to a $10 billion infusion from the Treasury Department to keep it going for at least another year. Both sides reached a deal after months of haggling under a provision of the coronavirus relief package Congress passed in March. The USPS will turn over proprietary information on agreements with private-sector competitors, including Amazon, FedEx and UPS, as part of the deal. President Trump has said he plans to use the relief as leverage to force the USPS to raise package delivery rates. (The Washington Post)


Calls grow for another lockdown

Leaders of several major U.S. cities say coronavirus testing delays and overwhelmed hospitals may make stay-at-home orders necessary again. The mayors of Los Angeles and Houston are echoing what 150 experts said in a signed letter. All of them urged political leaders to shut the country down and start over to contain the pandemic. Total coronavirus cases in Florida have now passed New York’s total, with the number of infected children surging 34% weeks before schools are slated to reopen. (CNN)


Damage done even amid reopening

Provinces are reopening and some, like Ontario, are even allowing indoor dining again, but the damage is already done for many Canadian small businesses that won’t recover. Some 14% of small companies are at risk of permanently shuttering, according to the latest report. Gyms, restaurants and hotels are the most at risk, the report said, and just 26% of all small businesses are making normal sales. (Canadian Federation of Independent Business)


Black Friday goes dark

Multiple national chains have announced they will stay closed this Thanksgiving, throwing a wrench into the start of the holiday shopping season. Small businesses benefit from the crowds who come out on Black Friday and are typically prepping for the season in the summer months, but preparing has become close to impossible under the pandemic. Experts say retailers will be dependent upon online sales and curbside pickup. (ABC News)


Universal Pictures has agreed to invest $200m in the first scripted movie to be shot in space

The studio made the commitment after a Zoom meeting with actor Tom Cruise and other people who will be involved in the production, including directors Doug Liman and Christopher McQuarrie, and producer PJ van Sandwijk. Doug Liman will write the script and Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote and directed the “Mission: Impossible” films, will have a “ground control” role. Tom Cruise and Doug Liman will travel to space to shoot the movie. Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk will also be involved in the production. (Deadline)


Federal grand jury indicts Tennessee state senator on 48 counts of theft, embezzlement and wire fraud

A federal grand jury returned a 48-count indictment against 39-year-old Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson for theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud. The indictment comes a day after U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant announced federal charges against Robinson. According to the indictment, Robinson is charged with 24 counts of theft and embezzlement involving government programs and 24 counts of wire fraud. She was elected to represent the 33rd District in Shelby County in 2018, and is the director of The Healthcare Institute. The Healthcare Institute received more than $2.2 million in federal grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration between 2015 and 2019. During that same time, she is accused of stealing more than $600,000 from the Healthcare Institute by compensating herself with more than is allowed by law and using Institute funds for payments and purchases for the benefit of herself and her immediate family. (WMCA)


Florida man charged with scamming Tolland woman out of over $400,000 via dating website scheme

A Florida man was arrested and transferred to Connecticut after he allegedly scammed a Tolland, Connecticut woman out of over $400,000 through a dating website. Connecticut State Police says that back in January of 2019, troopers began to investigate an elaborate dating scheme through the website OurTime.com. The victim had told police that from November 7, 2018 through December 26, 2018, she had been defrauded over the internet by two men. According to police, the victim had transferred $437, 800 to these men in series of seven wire transfers from her bank account. After a lengthy investigation with the help of the United States Secret Service, 32-year-old man of Boyton Beach, Florida was identified as the suspect. Police say that he is only “one part of this international criminal enterprise operating cyber fraud, cyber scams and money laundering operations.” (WTNH)


Bear wheels man’s trash can back up the driveway

A Florida man shared security camera footage of a bear wheeling around his trash can before spilling it onto his lawn. The man said his home security camera sent him an activity alert and he checked the feed to discover two black bears in front of his home. The video shows one of the bears wheeling his trash can from the curb back up his driveway. The bear’s actions turned out to be a not-so-good deed when it spilled the trash can’s contents on the man’s lawn. (Northwest Florida Daily News)


Man married 75 years celebrates 95th birthday with social distance party

Buford Griffin wondered why he was sitting under a tent in his front yard last Saturday morning. His wife of 73 years, as well as his two daughters and other family huddled around, but he remained in the dark as to why he was sitting in that heat. At least until the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office car, lights flashing, rolled past. A Sheriff’s Deputy was leading a line of cars and golf carts driven by friends, even a couple of guys from Tennessee who happened past, and all decorated to celebrate Buford Griffin’s 95th birthday. The result, a social-distance birthday parade in man’s honor, which put a pretty wide smile on the man’s face. This, in a small town, was a feat unto itself, considering the planning that went into the morning line-up and celebration. Now, as for what is the secret to working his way to a centennial (he once said he wanted to live to 112, but has pared the number to 110), he had a ready answer. “You have to depend on God for a lot,” he said. Though he spent some early years working a farm in Washington County, Florida following the death of his father and served in World War II, Port St. Joe has been home for him. (Jacksonville)


Beijing Promotes Idea of War With US as Relations Deteriorate

Authorities in Beijing recently posted air raid posters on the streets, while one hawkish state-run media urged the Chinese regime to develop more nuclear missiles to target the United States. This comes amid escalating tensions between the world’s two most powerful countries, with both sides clashing on issues ranging from the South China Sea, Hong Kong’s protests, to Beijing’s pandemic coverup. The last time air raid posters appeared in China was almost a half century ago during the late 1960s, when anti-American sentiment ran high amid the Cultural Revolution’s political propaganda. On July 25, workers were captured on video installing new posters in Haidian district, Beijing. The capital is home to roughly 21.54 million residents. The posters contained information on how to protect themselves during air raids, including how to find and enter a dugout shelter. (The Epoch Times)


Florida man flees crash, hides in fire station with backpack filled with drugs

A Florida man charged with drug trafficking could have done a better job picking his hiding spot. A spokesperson with the Clearwater Police Department says a 24-year-old man was the passenger at a crash on Court Street and Missouri Avenue. After the crash, he grabbed his backpack from the vehicle, hid it between two buildings, and fled into the Clearwater Fire Department Station 45, not knowing it was a fire department. A witness led police to the discarded backpack which contained a trafficking amount of codeine, along with crack cocaine, alprazolam, MDMA, and marijuana. The fire department notified Clearwater police, and he was arrested on multiple drug charges. (WFLA)


Twitter Hack Mastermind Arrested

A Tampa, Florida 17-year-old is facing 30 felony charges in connection with a Twitter hack that compromised high-profile accounts like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama. The state attorney’s office says the scheme reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day. Hillsborough State Attorney filed 30 felony charges against the teen this week for “scamming people across America” in connection with the Twitter hack that happened on July 15. The charges he’s facing include one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority. (WFLA)


Tuesday Blows Up With:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
  • Coast Guard Day
  • National Night Out Day 
  • Raisin Bran Day
  • Single Working Women’s Day
  • Social Security Day

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