Oct 24, 2021

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What the Labor Movement Needs to Keep ‘Striketober’ Going, According to New AFL-CIO Leader Liz Shuler

By Abby Vesoulis
  • Shuler spoke with TIME about what the workers participating in this historic wave of strikes are fighting for, how union membership can help them get it, and what the AFL-CIO is doing to bolster its ranks—especially with young people—to preserve its collective bargaining power in the decades to come.
  • Shuler wasn’t merely taking the reins during a once-in-a-century pandemic, but also in the midst of a revolutionary inflection point, where workers are emboldened by nationwide labor shortages to exact better wages, hours and general working conditions from their employers.
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From sky to bedrock, researchers near Crested Butte are resetting what we know about water in the West

By Mark Jaffe
  • The containers, a “mobile atmospheric observatory,” will gather bits of information over the next two years about the winds and clouds and rain and snow and heat and cold above the silvery and serpentine waterway as it slides past the gray granite dome of Gothic Mountain on its way to the Colorado River.
  • The Western United States has always relied on water resources that come from these rugged mountain systems,” said Dan Feldman, the principal researcher for the project using the mobile observatory.
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Devotional honors the early Black pioneers of Genesis Group as it celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Connor Sanders
  • Members of the Genesis Group, a quasi-branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that supports Black members, celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary Saturday night with a worship service at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City’s Temple Square.
  • (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Darius Gray, Genesis Group president from 1997 to 2003, speaks at the 50th anniversary of the Genesis Group in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, on Oct. 23, 2021.
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Class on the computer

By DENISE NEMEC SPECIAL TO NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
  • Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative was made aware of this need and worked with five school districts to create a new pilot K-6 Virtual School, with Anderson its first and only teacher.
  • Missy Hixson, the cooperative’s assistant director and teacher center coordinator, said, “Bailey and I worked for more than a week in August on scheduling students per the DLP [digital learning plan] requirements and setting up parent communication plans, as well as training on the Florida Virtual lessons.
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China’s Rise Is a Threat the U.S. Has Faced for a Century

By Henry Brands
  • But most fundamentally, the rivalry is the latest chapter in the central story of modern geopolitics — the clash between Eurasian empires that seek to control the world’s strategic “heartland” and the maritime powers that seek to thwart those designs.
  • All this is a familiar challenge for Washington: As early as 2002, Defense Department official Andrew Marshall channeled Mackinder in writing that America must wage a long competition with China “for influence and position within the Eurasian continent and the Pacific Rimland.”
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Electricity comes to rural Benton County in 1939

By XYTA LUCAS SPECIAL TO NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
  • “The biggest Benton County party held in a decade” was the way in which was described the celebration that was held in Bella Vista on July 28, 1939, to recognize the first 50 miles of rural electric lines completed.
  • The day started with a cooking school demonstration at the pavilion, followed by the annual picnic of the Farm Bureau and County Council of home demonstration clubs.
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Letter: Crucial vote

  • If the Republicans have their way, we will soon be able to ruefully say, “They pretend to hold elections.
  • From the “Big Lie” to the insurrection to the anti-democratic restrictive voting bills designed to keep minorities from the polls, the Republicans have demonstrated their goal is not to govern, but to simply retain power at any cost.
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Michelle Goldberg: The vindication of Angela Merkel

By Michelle Goldberg
  • The climax of Kati Marton’s captivating new biography of Angela Merkel, “The Chancellor,” comes in 2015, when the German leader refused to close her country’s borders to a tide of refugees fleeing civil war and state collapse in the Middle East and Africa.
  • According to Marton, Henry Kissinger, ever callous, told Merkel, “To shelter one refugee is a humanitarian act, but to allow one million strangers in is to endanger German civilization.”
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Northwest Arkansas ‘points the way’ on diversity, state Democratic Party chief says, but rifts remain

By Doug Thompson
  • "Northwest Arkansas has done a better job including its Latinx and Marshallese populations than a lot of the rest of us have done in accepting diversity, although we're doing better now," Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Grant Tennille said in an interview Thursday.
  • Northwest Arkansas leads the state in accepting diversity, and Democrats must follow that lead to rebuild, the party's new chairman said.
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Guns turning up at TSA checkpoints in record numbers this year; 24 found at XNA so far

By Ron Wood
  • Safety Administration officers found 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 because of the covid-19 pandemic.
  • A record number of people have brought guns to the nation's airports so far this year, according to federal Transportation Safety Administration officials.
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What do parents want? St. Paul district bets on bigger, ‘well-rounded’ schools

By Josh Verges
  • Despite his predecessor’s marketing campaigns and strategic plan focused on growing enrollment, the district had dropped to around 37,000 students from 41,100 a decade prior, and charter schools increasingly were eating into the district’s market share.
  • Instead, the two elementary schools are merging, but the district is adding a third middle school site — at Parkway, which no longer will be a Montessori middle school — that offers not immersion but a Hmong language and culture curriculum.
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Edith Wharton’s Bewitching, Long-Lost Ghost Stories

By Anna Russell
  • Only when she was nearing thirty—long after she became a “ ‘young lady’ with long skirts and my hair up,” as she wrote—and on her way to winning the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “ The Age of Innocence,” could she sleep in a house that contained a book of ghost stories.
  • Reading the stories, I sometimes felt like I had discovered a hidden room in an impeccable house, and turned to find that the door had shut behind me.
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Sunday Reading: Strange Tales

By The New Yorker
  • “ A Shinagawa Monkey,” one of Haruki Murakami’s greatest works of short fiction, describes a young woman who receives alarming information about her life from an unlikely source.
  • And, finally, a story that you may have first encountered in a tattered anthology in school: Shirley Jackson’s “ The Lottery,” a tale as haunting and relevant today as it was when it was first published, in the pages of The New Yorker, in 1948.
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Volunteers secure final stairs in Koko Crater trail repairs

By Nina Wu
  • After thousands of hours of labor by hundreds of volunteers manually hauling more than 600,000 pounds of materials up the incline, the Kokonut Koa­lition officially finished its repair project at the top of Koko Crater Stairs on Saturday morning.
  • The Kokonut Koalition, initially a group of hard-core hikers who loved the trail, became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2018 to work in partnership with the city to preserve, maintain and, eventually, overhaul the steps permanently so they can be enjoyed in perpetuity by future generations.
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Op-Ed: Rampant online cheating is the dark side of remote learning

By Karen Symms Gallagher
  • Companies such as Chegg and Course Hero offer monthly subscription formats — similar to Netflix — in which students pay $10 or $15 a month for round-the-clock access to resources including exam questions, textbook solutions and homework “help,” meaning that subscribers can upload a problem to their accounts and expect answers with proof within minutes or the hour .
  • This year, stories in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and U.K. publications including Education Technology have spotlighted the growth and profits of public companies such as Chegg.
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Springdale School District participates in covid-19 quarantine pilot

By Mary Jordan
  • The School District on Friday concluded its participation in a two-week Test to Stay pilot program to decrease student and staff covid-19 quarantines.
  • Springdale's participation in the pilot is a result of steps Superintendent Jared Cleveland has taken to work with the state to reduce school quarantines, said Damon Donnell, Springdale School District Student Services director.
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Lethal ‘forever chemicals’ taint our food, water and even blood. The EPA is stalling | David Bond

By David Bond
  • Overwhelmed by rampant PFAS contamination, the EPA is asking the petrochemical industry to study these chemicals one by one in the hopes of eventually building enough data to regulate them.
  • Now worried about impending liability, the petrochemical industry and the military are busy torching stockpiles of PFOA and PFOS (the two PFAS compounds closest to being regulated) despite growing concern that burning merely redistributes these inflammable toxins, especially into the poor communities of color where waste incinerators cynically base their operations.
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MN’s virtual court hearings aren’t going away. Review finds advantages — and drawbacks.

By Deanna Weniger
  • In September, the Minnesota Judicial Council Committee, composed of 25 members, many of them judges, voted to phase in a structure that would decide when a court could meet in person and when it could meet remotely.
  • For non-criminal cases, the council voted that hearings where evidence is being presented or testimony is taken must be held in person.
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Reclaiming Jesus From His Church

By Peter Wehner
  • “Nearly everyone tells me there is at the very least a small group in nearly every evangelical church complaining and agitating against teaching or policies that aren’t sufficiently conservative or anti-woke,” a pastor and prominent figure within the evangelical world told me.
  • “A small group of people, inside and outside this church, coordinated a divisive effort to use disinformation in order to persuade others to vote these men down as part of a broader effort to take control of this church,” David Platt, a 43-year-old minister at McLean Bible Church and a best-selling author, charged in a July 4 sermon .
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Second Opinion: Want to visualize the realities of a warmer planet? Give this online tool a try

By Solomon Dobrowski
  • Scientists call these locations “climate analogs,” present-day places that share similar climates to those projected for another location in the future.
  • My daily commute via bicycle crosses the Clark Fork most days and has allowed me to discern a rhythm and tempo in how the seasons come and go — a composition of daily weather-like notes in a musical score that is the climate of Missoula, Mont.
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Literary pick of the week: “Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss, and Redemption in the Rehab State”

By Mary Ann Grossmann
  • Sullivan recounts in her new book, “Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss, and Redemption in the Rehab State,” based on interviews with former drug-users, family, and others caught in the web of opioid use, treatment, recovery, and loss.
  • Sullivan, a history professor at Macalester College, underscores the complexity of this epidemic from every viewpoint — drug use, parenting, harm reduction, medication, abstinence and stigma and she questions current treatment models, healthcare inequities and the criminal justice system that treats people of color differently from white people who are addicted.
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Fleur Jaeggy Thinks Nothing of Herself

By Dylan Byron
  • Born to a Swiss family in Zürich, in 1940, Fleur Jaeggy grew up speaking German, French, and Italian, but it’s in the latter that she writes spare, hypnotically pellucid novels.
  • I asked Jaeggy about “The Water Statues” and her other books, the life she had lived between languages, and her memories of friends, including Bachmann, Oliver Sacks, Joseph Brodsky, and Giovanni Pozzi, a Swiss-Italian priest and literary scholar.
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Bridgeport community farm may share space with new library

By Brian Lockhart
  • Mayor Joe Ganim’s administration has for a few years been under pressure from some neighborhood leaders like Councilwoman Rosalina Roman-Christy and activist Steve Nelson to build a library on the the property the farm calls home.
  • O’Donnell argued regardless of what future arrangement is worked out for the farm and library to share land, it would make sense for the Ganim Administration to renew the Green Village Initiative’s lease for a few more years.
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Documents indicate Facebook scramble as Capitol attacked

  • The internal dispatches were among a set of Facebook documents obtained by The New York Times that give new insight into what happened inside the social media network before and after the November election, when the company was caught flat-footed as users weaponized its platform to spread lies about the vote.
  • Emergency actions -- some of which were rolled back after the 2020 election -- included banning Trump, freezing comments in groups with records for hate speech, filtering out the "Stop the Steal" rallying cry and empowering content moderators to act more assertively by labeling the U.S. a "Temporary High Risk Location" for political violence.
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Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch review – an erudite tour of the author’s head

By Peter Conrad

Inspired by Phileas Fogg, an academic treks across the globe without leaving his library in a hymn to the unifying power of literature

Reading is travel – an epic trek, a picaresque pursuit, a lyrical flight – and last year it offered release to those of us still itchy after a daily circuit of the local park. Housebound in London, I reread Dickens and wistfully accompanied his characters on their perambulations through a city that was out of bounds to me. David Damrosch, a Harvard specialist in comparative literature, projected himself further afield: when conference dates in Tokyo and a smattering of European venues were cancelled, he decided to circumnavigate the globe without leaving his library.

Damrosch took his cue from Phileas Fogg, the London clubman who speeds across continents and oceans in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Needing to win a wager, Fogg bribes drivers and pilots to increase their speed and desperately strips wood from a steamship in mid-Atlantic to feed its furnace. Damrosch proceeds at a more leisurely pace, though he occasionally makes weightless associative leaps as if hitching a ride in a hot air balloon.

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Column: Easing restrictions will help Hawaii’s merchants

  • Government mandates for eating establishments and other businesses opting to have their employees vaccinated as well as those providing proof of negative tests have made a significant difference in a variety of businesses’ ability to work and employ Hawaii residents.
  • The Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Foundation reported 2 out of 3 local businesses faced severe downturns in revenue, resulting in job cuts.
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Reduced hours threaten Hawaii’s hotel workers’ medical benefits

By Allison Schaefers
  • The mass hotel layoffs of last year are gone; however, many workers are still getting very few hours, especially those like Alcos who are employed in departments that cater to groups, events, banquets, and food and beverage operations that have been severely limited by county and state coronavirus restrictions.
  • The schedule restrictions, coupled with the tourism downturn, have created a Catch-22 for some union workers: If they leave their current jobs, they’ll lose their hard-won seniority and the right to be first to get scheduled hours, as well as valuable union benefits, including free family medical insurance for life in retirement.
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Ciao!

  • And also I’m the dumb one for walking around with my passport, which I never do, but somebody told me to keep it and my vaccination card on me at all times.
  • It’s great knowing that everyone around you is vaccinated, and I was worried about the pandemic, not the pickpockets.
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Jasper Johns, master virtuoso of the double, one of the most influential of American painters, in massive Philly-NYC exhibition

  • Cocurators Carlos Basualdo of the Philadelphia Museum and the Whitney’s Scott Rothkopf, assisted by Sarah Vogelman and Lauren Young, gathered more than 500 of Jasper Johns’ paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture, and assigned roughly half to each institution.
  • In Philadelphia, “Mind/Mirror” begins with the disembodied voice of John Cage reading Johns’ cryptic texts.
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Pulaski Special School District voters to act on plan to raise $80 million without tax hike; two candidates run unopposed in Nov. 2 election

By Cynthia Howell
  • Pulaski County Special School District leaders are submitting to voters on Nov. 2 a plan to generate $80 million for school additions and other improvements without raising annual taxes or extending the levy of debt-service tax mills beyond their current 2048 expiration date.
  • The plan would not result in a tax increase for property owners in the district, he said, nor does it call for extending the 14.8 debt-service mills of the district's overall 40.7-mill rate beyond the current 2048 expiration rate,
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Other days

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • G. Davis, preparing for completion after testing 200 barrels of oil a day in No. 2 Carter-Moore, indicated a deep oil discovery in Spirit Lake Field of Lafayette County.
  • The hay belonged to Will Cummings and was not insured.
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Northwest Arkansas school district intentionally withheld documents, amended lawsuit claims

By Ron Wood
  • The lawsuit, filed in Madison County Circuit Court, says the school district violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act by not informing the media about meetings of the School Board to consider disciplinary action in a sexual harassment case.
  • The attorney who filed the lawsuit, Joey McCutchen, also said the district failed to record and preserve the public portion of School Board meetings, as required by law.
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Climate Promises Cost Nothing. Change Will Cost a Fortune.

By Niall Ferguson
  • In April, the U.S also updated its nationally determined contribution, promising to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% (compared to 2005 levels) by 2030, nearly double the previous target of 26% to 28% by 2025).
  • Since 2013–14, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its Fifth Assessment Report, the worst of its “representative concentration pathways” has grown more, not less, probable, meaning higher greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures, precipitation and sea levels.
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Milller County spending $300,000 to digititize more court records

By Greg Bischof
  • Miller County Circuit Clerk Mary Pankey plans to spend $300,000 converting 75 file cabinets of criminal, civil and domestic court records into digital electronic copies for the public.
  • Pankey told Miller County Quorum Court members last week that she intends to pay for the scanning and digitizing of these records with money from her office's recorder budget, which presently has a $592,000 cash balance.
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Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout review – Lucy Barton’s return brings intense pleasures

By Jonathan Myerson
  • Just as a quality, long-form TV series becomes greater than the sum of its episodes by the sheer cumulative effect of character and backstory across seasons, so too Elizabeth Strout seems to be generating a similarly holistic – and entirely original – form of fiction writing.
  • Of course, novel sequences are nothing new, but they nearly always move chronologically forwards through an ever-continuing story.
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Hot Springs to host Arkansas High Country Bike Race in 2022, 2023

By THE SENTINEL-RECORD
  • The first year's race, which takes competitors on a loop that encompasses much of the "toughest mountain terrain" in Arkansas, will start on Oct. 8 in downtown Hot Springs, the Visit Hot Springs agency said in a news release, adding that a shorter 500-mile loop is also available.
  • "Hot Springs is a perfect fit for the [Arkansas High Country Race,] and we cannot wait to highlight its community and local businesses for the upcoming years," Chuck Campbell, assistant race director, said in the release.
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Too much taxpayer money not flowing down to needs, Democratic governor hopefuls say

By Doug Thompson
  • Federal tax dollars entrusted to state and local governments aren't flowing down to meet the needs of Arkansans, Democratic candidates for governor said Friday.
  • The candidates are: Anthony Bland of Little Rock, a teacher and the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor; Chris Jones of Little Rock, a physicist and former head of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub; James "Rus" Russell III of Little Rock, owner and operator of a counselling center there; and Supha Xayprasith-Mays of Little Rock, a magazine publisher and investor.
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Arkansas Achievers

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • • April Chatham-Carpenter, chairperson of the Department of Applied Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the former state co-coordinator for Braver Angels of Arkansas, has been selected to serve as co-director of field communications for Braver Angels National.
  • • Elizabeth Small, director of business networks and instructor of real estate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been selected for Leadership Arkansas Class XVI.
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Families worry as vaccine mandate threatens to shutter group homes

By Joe Lawlor
  • John and Jan Hanson of Fryeburg worry about the potential closing of the group home their 42-year-old son lives in, a repercussion from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers imposed by Gov. Janet Mills.
  • Muffett Dulac, whose 42-year-old son, David, has Down syndrome and lives in a group home in Auburn, said she supports vaccinating as many people as possible, but the rule is going to cause families to suffer.
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SunLit Special: Claire Boyles’ “Site Fidelity” delves into the trials of rural life

By Claire Boyles
  • Every day before she left for work, Amy boiled coffee on the wood- burning stove Bobby Jackson had rigged from a fifty-gallon oil drum and read the newspaper that still appeared, like some kind of magic, in the driveway.
  • Elmer could decide he was going to eat fire instead of dinner, Bobby thought, and both Amy and Marcia would be delighted by his innovative thinking.
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Pritchett: In praise of Colorado and grizzly bears and especially Enos Mills

By Laura Pritchett
  • With this cabin as his home base, he hiked and snowshoed great distances, wrote about bears and geology and wildlife, and worked hard to create a national park that might preserve them, which you can see right outside the window, Longs Peak being perfectly framed by logs.
  • Indeed, of all the readings I have done on bears, “The Grizzly,” Enos Mills’ 1919 book, is my favorite.
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How Maine’s members of Congress voted last week

  • MEDICAL STOCKPILES: The House has passed the Strengthening Americas Strategic National Stockpile Act (H.R. 3635), sponsored by Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mo. The bill would change operation of the federal government’s stockpile of equipment and drugs for use in medical emergencies, including setting out required stockpiling levels and plans for distribution.
  • RENTAL CARS AND TERRORISM: The House has passed the Darren Drake Act (H.R. 4089), sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., to require the Homeland Security Department to issue guidelines to car rental companies on strategies for preventing acts of terrorism that use vehicles they rent to individuals.
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Littwin: The art of persuasion is on life support. Biden’s safety net bill isn’t feeling too good, either

By Mike Littwin
  • We’ll start in Washington, where the current state of dysfunction runs so deep that Joe Biden, the longtime, self-proclaimed Senate deal maker, has persuaded exactly no Republicans and is struggling to keep his own party together — he needs all 50 Democrats, using reconciliation — to get his social safety-net program passed.
  • If the safety net bill does get passed — and it probably will, eventually, although with a price tag at about half of what Biden wants — it looks as if it will pass with the extended child credit tax, the wildly popular law that Michael Bennet strongly supports and touts at every turn, having been eviscerated.
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Disneyland Resort Honored for Support of Local Food Bank

By Advertorial
Disneyland Resort was recently honored by Community Action Partnership of Orange County(CAP OC) for the resort’s longstanding commitment to the nonprofit and its largest program, the OC Food Bank. “Our organization is laser-focused on ensuring that we are bringing vulnerable communities the resources they need when they need them. Disney has always been a partner in that effort,” said LaShanda Maze, vice president of Philanthropy for CAP OC. “From your volunteerism, to donating food and other in-kind support as well as your past financial support of our programs, we know we can count on you to be there. Plus, we know it’s been a hard year […]Read more >Similar articles >
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First Generation Cast Members Gather to Share Memories from first 25 years of Disneyland

By Advertorial
  • Garry, who began his 21-year Disneyland career in Security in 1967, said he was one of many attendees who had met their spouse while working at Disneyland.
  • Sadly, his wife, Mary, passed away earlier this year, as did Disney Legends Ron Dominguez and Jim Cora — all of whom Garry said were great supporters of the group and had been looking forward to the event.
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Food aplenty, yet shortages persist

  • "We've been struggling with supply-chain issues with different items since school started," said Theresa Hafner, the executive director of food services at Denver Public Schools.
  • More than a year and a half after the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life, the supply of basic goods at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants is once again falling victim to intermittent shortages and delays.
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OPINION | ON BOOKS: So many books to review, so little time …

By Philip Martin
  • I just noted this blurb on the back of "Reacher Said Nothing": "'Dumbfounding' — The New Yorker." That's funny, and fair, and I bet that Martin, with whom I exchanged a few emails after writing about one or the other of these books in this column, enjoyed the New Yorker review.
  • Lots of authors and publishers send you books, for free; you pick through them and choose one and read it; then knock out about 800 words on what you think it's supposed to be about.
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Europe’s Inflation Shock Fizzles in German Post-Crisis Pay Talks

By Jana Randow, Alexander Weber
  • While a hard push back from employers set the scene for a round of strikes, it would also provide a clue to European Central Bank policy makers wondering if the pandemic has fostered a sea change in inflation after years of lackluster price increases.
  • The prospect that Europe’s surging inflation could stoke pay is being put to the test in the region’s largest economy as 3.5 million Germans in the public sector struggle to secure significant raises in wage talks.
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Disneyland Resort Cast Members Celebrate the Halloween Season with a Cast-Exclusive Scare Maze

By Advertorial
  • Giddy screams and excited shrieks aren’t unusual during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, but recently, the loudest screams were coming from cast members at an after-hours scare maze in Disney California Adventure park!
  • Anthony Olivares, attractions host, who has been helping run the event for four years, said: “Every year, we try and tell a different story through theatrical elements in the maze.”
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Meet the Newest (Four-Legged) Disneyland Cast Members

By Advertorial
  • “It’s been challenging during the past year to purchase new horses, because in some cases we weren’t able to see them in person beforehand,” Circle D Ranch Manager Erin Simon said earlier this month from the 5.5-acre ranch in Norco.
  • Circle D Ranch, home of the Disneyland Resort horses, recently welcomed five newcomers to the family — and cast members have already begun training these beauties for their eventual debut on Main Street, U.S.A.
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1,000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei review – a life of dissent

By Sean O’Hagan

The artist’s memoir reveals a rebellious spirit, inherited from his persecuted poet father, which sustained him through detention by Chinese authorities

In 1957, the year of Ai Weiwei’s birth, China’s leader, Chairman Mao, launched the Anti-Rightist Campaign, a purge of intellectuals whose work was deemed critical of the state. By the end of the year, about 300,000 people had been rounded up, the majority of them exiled to the country’s remote border regions to undergo “reform through labour”. Ai’s father, Ai Qing, a respected poet, was one of them.

“The whirlpool that swallowed up my father upended my life too, leaving a mark on me that I carry with me to this day,” Ai writes in the opening chapter of this ambitious memoir, in which his father’s story gives way to, and often echoes, his own. In 1967, his father’s life was upended once again, when he was transported to a desert region known as Little Siberia to undergo political “remoulding”.

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Trolley To Terror! History gives way to mystery for one night only

By Becca Martin-Brown
  • "We have an assortment of rail cars -- four cabooses, several box cars and a diner," says Bradley Martin, president of the Fort Smith Trolley Museum.
  • Thirty-six years later, the Fort Smith Trolley Museum operates a streetcar every weekend, year round -- and its flagship is the same Birney Safety Car No. 224 that brought luxury to the trolley line in 1920.
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The clarity that comes with cancer

By DANNY POWELL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
  • I sit in the exam room seven stories up, waiting for the doctor to come in, and remember my first meeting in one of these rooms when I was told there was only one treatment option--interferon, a drug first used 60 or so years ago--to try to keep the disease from coming back.
  • But I also celebrate a different anniversary every August, one that reminds me of one hot summer day 10 years ago when an odd lump that appeared in my underarm turned out to be metastasized cancer.
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In Trump’s Shadow: David Drucker surveys the Republican runners and riders for 2024

By Lloyd Green
  • Drucker delivers deeper dives on former vice-president Mike Pence; the Florida senator Marco Rubio and governor, Ron DeSantis; Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations; the Arkansas senator Tom Cotton; and the governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan.
  • Drucker names an array of Republican presidential hopefuls, among them long-shots such as the Texas governor, Greg Abbott; the Nebraska senator Ben Sasse; and Trump’s last national security adviser, Robert O’Brien.
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Geoff Robson: Multitalented hands guide Arkansas Symphony

By Jenny Boulden Special to the Democrat -Gazette
  • Cynthia Ross, a Little Rock radiation oncologist, is a patron of ASO and the chamber society, but got to know Robson first as a parent; her daughter, Miriam Hauer-Jensen, played violin for years with the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival and the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra.
  • "Geoff is just an amazing person," says LaSheena Gordon, a classically trained vocalist who has performed with ASO and worked closely with Robson through Opera in the Rock.
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Letters

  • Thank you for publishing Katie Zakrzewski's fine letter, "For healthier climate." She provides convincing reasons why securing a healthy climate and supporting clean energy should be a policy centerpoint for conservative Arkansans and the Republican Party as a whole.
  • And now we have a political party that once led the world in freedom and progressiveness captive to this barker and his followers.
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Russia’s 30-Year Vision Is Realized With Nord Stream 2

By Julian Lee
  • The Blue Stream pipeline beneath the Black Sea reduced Russia’s dependence on transit across Ukraine to deliver gas to Turkey, while Nord Stream reduced the roles of Belarus and Poland in deliveries of Russian gas to Germany and other buyers in western Europe.
  • It’s the final link in a 30-year project to divert Russian oil and gas exports away from transit routes across former Soviet neighbors.
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The Observer view on Donald Trump’s Truth Social | Observer editorial

By Observer editorial
  • The newly formed company behind the app, Trump Media and Technology Group, plans to disseminate what it calls “anti-woke” news, debate and entertainment to Americans deprived of honest, impartial media outlets.
  • Trump is under fire from Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, and other Republicans who fear his obsession with overturning the 2020 result is deflecting attention from Joe Biden’s mistakes ahead of next year’s midterm congressional elections.
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Shalom Austin issues statement after reports of anti-Semitic banner hanging over bridge on MoPac

By Chelsea Moreno
  • Shalom Austin's letter also said this incident is not believed to be related to vandalism at Anderson High School, which included anti-Semitic messaging and racist words and symbols that were painted on student parking spots.
  • "The Austin Police Department is aware, has been incredibly supportive, and has been carefully monitoring and observing the situation," continued the letter.
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STEVE SEBELIUS: Is there substance behind the Fiore flash?

By Steve Sebelius
  • Give Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore credit for a rare feat: She kept the announcement that she was running for governor of Nevada secret until the very last second.
  • The already-crowded primary is going to be difficult enough without Fiore taking votes and money away from fellow southerners Joe Lombardo and John Lee. Her positioning as a Trump believer rivals Reno attorney Joey Gilbert, who loves the former president more than Trump’s own sons.
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Why this season could solve ‘Bachelor’ identity crisis

By Greg Braxton
  • Michelle Young declares in a glossy spot promoting the new season of ABC’s reality flagship, which premiered Tuesday.
  • Members of the Bachelor Nation fan base are also hopeful that the Minnesota elementary school teacher — the show’s third Black leading lady — will help bring sustained and meaningful change to the “Bachelor” franchise, which has been rocked by charges of systemic racism and cultural insensitivity throughout its 19-year run.
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Raise a glass to the return of Distiller’s Week in New Hampshire

By Moira McCarthy
  • The premier event of the Distiller’s Week, the Eighth Annual Distiller’s Showcase to benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank, will take place Nov. 4 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown and offers guests the opportunity to meet distillers from around the world while sampling food from New Hampshire’s top restaurants.
  • As founder and owner of Fabrizia Spirits ( fabriziaspirits.com ), Phil Mastroianni said this event is one he looks forward to both as someone who wants to learn and someone who wants to share his product.
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Hey, hey it’s the Monkees farewell tour making a Medford stop

By Jed Gottlieb
  • Dolenz spent his days filming “The Monkees” TV show with Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and his nights laying down vocals for albums “The Monkees” and “More of the Monkees.”
  • “The record ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ became a hit, or so I was told, because we were filming eight to ten hours a day and I was in the recording studio at night singing,” Dolenz told the Herald.
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Franks: Paying tribute to a great American – Gen. Colin Powell

By Gary Franks
  • When people talk about great Americans, pioneers with integrity, leaders who achieved great things who were strong enough to admit failure, take responsibility for failure and worked tirelessly to turn it around, Gen. Colin Powell comes to mind.
  • I said, “I told my voters that if I could get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, as one of 435, as a Black man in a 92% white district — a first, what harm could I do?
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Talk to dad about son’s mystery bruises

By Jann Blackstone
  • I can tell you working together will be far more beneficial for your son than a CPS worker going to his school, pulling him out of class and asking how he got the bruises on his legs.
  • I think my son may be covering for his father and I’m wondering if I should call Child Protective Services to check into it.
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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: One man’s anarchy is another’s road to justice

By Victor Davis Hanson Tribune Content Agency
  • Yet most Americans are arguing not over the sheer chaos and disasters of the Biden administration, but rather how could such sheer pre-civilizational calamity occur in modern America?
  • Start instead with the idea that what most Americans see as sheer ruin is not what the left-wing puppeteers — who are pulling the strings of the Biden marionette — see.
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Enrollment at Texas’ public universities inches ahead of community colleges for the first time since 1990s

By Kate McGee, The Texas Tribune
The number of students attending Texas’ community colleges dropped below enrollment in the state’s four-year universities for the first time since the 1990s as many two-year schools continue to grapple with sharp enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Community colleges have seen a nearly 11% drop during the pandemic, equivalent to a loss of about 80,000 students. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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RICHARD A. EPSTEIN: The Biden bust-up

By Richard A. Epstein Special to the Review-Journal
  • At that point, Biden’s best strategy was to woo his centrist Democrats for the simple reason that his boisterous progressive wing had nowhere else to go.
  • But he had no coattails — and thus a small majority of seats in the House and a dead-heat in the Senate, which makes his shaky Vice President Kamala Harris the deciding vote if the party can keep each of the 50 Democratic senators in line.
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Great tips to keep your kids safe this Halloween

By Deb Balzer
  • For younger children who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and most likely want to trick-or-treat, Rajapakse says Halloween safety means adding a few more tactics to your planning.
  • “All these different strategies together help protect that group because kids under 12 are probably going to make up most of the kids who want to trick-or-treat this year,” Rajapakse said.
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Letters to the editor

  • I was also stunned by the number of injuries from attacks on police officers (which the media does not report).
  • Second, have the media give as much coverage to murdered and injured police as they do when they decide a police officer was wrong in a given situation and obsess on the story for days and months.
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P.J. Fleck explains his “risk vs. reward” approach before halftime vs. Maryland

By Andy Greder
  • Fleck said the plan was to run the ball, drain the clock (or maybe bust a big gain) to set up a shorter field goal that would potentially made it a two-score game at 20-10.
  • The Gophers ran the ball four more times, called their third and final timeout after the third carry, and then Tanner Morgan spiked it to stop the clock with four seconds left.
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At town hall, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar boosts public safety amendment, blasts stalemate over Biden package

By Susan Du
  • Omar, a Democrat, said she understood the desire for safety and reiterated her call to voters to approve a Minneapolis City Charter amendment that would remove minimum police staffing requirements and give the City Council authority over a more holistic public safety department.
  • U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar told constituents Saturday at a town hall meeting that Minneapolis' rise in gun violence and carjackings can be blamed on police who "have chosen to not fulfill their oath of office and provide the public safety they owe to the citizens."
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Wu, Essaibi-George meet for discussion of issues that affect Black Bostonians

By Nick Stoico
Moderated by John Barros, a former candidate in the race, the one-hour conversation organized by the Black Joy Project and hosted by the Museum of African American History was advertised as a debate. But there was little back and forth Saturday night between the two at-large city councilors vying for the mayor’s office, who were largely in agreement in their answers to Barros’s questions about issues facing Black Bostonians. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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‘Rust’ armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed once gave unchecked gun to 11-year-old actor: report

By Patrick Reilly
  • The “inexperienced” armorer in charge of weapons on set of Alec Baldwin’s movie “Rust” had given a gun to an 11-year-old actress without checking properly for safety, a report said.
  • Gutierrez-Reed’s alleged misstep happened on the set of the upcoming Nicholas Cage film, “The Old Way” and temporarily halted filming, sources told The Daily Beast .
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COVID wave overwhelms rural Minnesota hospitals, leaving the sick nowhere to go

By Jeremy Olson
  • Cameron's delayed transfer is one in a series of frustrations this month for greater Minnesota hospitals, which for a three-week stretch were caring for more COVID-19 patients than Twin Cities hospitals.
  • That reversal hadn't happened before and reached a peak Oct. 12 when hospitals outside the Twin Cities had 521 COVID-19 patients admitted to inpatient beds compared with 471 in metro hospitals.
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Why 25 Previous Conferences Have Failed to Stop Climate Change

By David Fickling
  • G-7 countries are accused of making no allowances for the leg-up their own economies received from decades of emissions, and haranguing developing nations that have few alternative options.
  • This is best exemplified by the split between the Group of Seven major advanced economies — which together have accounted for about 53% of historical carbon emissions — and the Group of 77 developing nations.
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Granderson: Condi Rice wants to ‘move on’ from Jan. 6. What does that even mean?

By LZ Granderson
  • It seems to me, if the purpose of the institute Rice leads is to support our “method of representative government,” she should be advocating that Americans lean in to investigating the promoters and inciters of the insurrection, not move on.
  • Two years after the Benghazi attack, and after several investigations, Rice supported yet another investigation because “there are still unanswered questions” and “this is all in the spirit of trying to improve the next time.”
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Bigger is better, Lutsen Mountains says; not everyone agrees

By Brooks Johnson
  • Minnesota's largest ski resort wants to attract more families with more runs, more amenities and more lifts — an expansion that Lutsen Mountains says will lift Cook County and the North Shore along with it.
  • "I'm not interested in letting our public lands bail out not-so-good business decisions at Lutsen Mountains," said Rory Scoles, co-owner of ski shop Lutsen Recreation Inc. and president of Superior Highland Backcountry, which has launched a "Save Moose Mountain" campaign.
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Walz’s ‘One Minnesota’ mantra tested in bid for second term

By Briana Bierschbach, Briana Bierschbach
  • Longtime DFL operative and former party chair Mike Erlandson said Walz has a chance to define himself and the issues in the race while Republicans remain internally divided.
  • Now the political ground has shifted beneath his feet, with his response to COVID-19 fueling criticism from opponents on the right and George Floyd's killing and the law enforcement debate that followed prompting backlash from his own party on the left.
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Facebook boss ‘not willing to protect public from harm’

By Dan Milmo
  • The New York Times reported that workers had repeatedly warned that Facebook was being flooded with false claims about the 2020 presidential election result being fraudulent and believed the company should have done more to tackle it.
  • The Facebook whistleblower whose revelations have tipped the social media giant into crisis has launched a stinging new criticism of Mark Zuckerberg, saying he has not shown any readiness to protect the public from the harm his company is causing.
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Probation officer-turned-lawmaker tries to wrangle criminal justice reform

By Randy Krehbiel Tulsa World
  • Former House Speaker Kris Steele, who led the push for state questions 780 and 781 and remains their strongest proponents, says they allow what he calls "graduated sanctions," which can include up to a year in jail for repeat offenses or failure to meet the terms of supervised release.
  • He says the fees are illegal, the DAs aren't providing adequate supervision and in any event it is bad policy for the criminal justice system to rely on extracting money from the people under its control.
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Florida is ditching palm trees to fight the climate crisis

  • By 2050, Miami Beach's palms should make up no more than 25% of the public tree population, according to Miami Beach's Rising Above plan."Southern Live oak, Quercus Virginiana — large canopy trees, can withstand occasional floods and hurricanes and are resistant to salt spray, provide habitat for birds and a variety of moss and bromeliads in south Florida," Redford said.Even without considering logging and deforestation, Mother Nature brings down a lot of trees.
  • Instead, they should be replaced with trees that are better at mitigating the climate crisis.But we can't blame palm trees alone, since the type of tree is only one piece of the puzzle.Crous told CNN the age of the tree matters, too: Younger trees absorb less carbon dioxide than older trees."Yes, tree species matter, some grow faster than others and so their response to elevated CO2 may differ, too," Crous said.
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Climbers stranded overnight in Little Cottonwood Canyon rescued safely

By Connor Sanders
  • Search and rescue crews led two climbers to safety early Saturday morning after they were stranded overnight in the Gate Buttress area of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Unified Police Department officials said.
  • A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was called out to fly rescue members to the climbers around 2:45 a.m. Saturday, but the helicopter quickly returned to base due to stormy weather conditions.
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‘Don’t sit this one out’: Obama stumps for Virginia governor candidate Terry McAuliffe

By Josephine Walker and Safia Abdulahi in Richmond, Virginia
  • Barack Obama vehemently warned Virginia voters on Saturday against any complacency that what was now a “blue” state would stay that way, as he spoke at a rally to support Terry McAuliffe in the tightening race for governor .
  • Speaking at the rally, McAuliffe touted his expansion of voting rights in Virginia and he and Obama commented on increased voter restrictions, which have hit states such as Texas and Florida in particular.
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First lady says husband will keep ABQ moving forward

By Elizabeth Kistin Keller / First Lady of Albuquerque
  • Every four years, Albuquerque voters convene to elect city leaders whose vision best meets the needs of our community.
  • Since he took office four years ago, Tim and his team have built a foundation to combat crime, hiring 100 new police officers each year, tripling the staff in our city’s homicide unit, and creating an innovative new Community Safety Department to respond to some 911 calls with social workers.
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Republicans In Pennsylvania And Other States Using Ballot Initiatives To Change Election Laws

  • Republicans in at least four states where Democrats control the governor’s office, the legislature or both — California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — are pursuing statewide ballot initiatives or veto-proof proposals to enact voter ID restrictions and other changes to election law.
  • In another state, Nebraska, Republicans control the governor’s office and have a majority in the single-house legislature, but are pushing a voter ID ballot measure because they have been unable to get enough lawmakers on board.
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QAnon-linked convention kicks off in Las Vegas with misinformation

By Blake Apgar
  • On Saturday, speakers at the For God and Country Patriot Double Down event riled the couple hundred people who showed up to the Ahern Hotel by spouting unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election and casting doubt on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • One attendee said during the event that they planned to put up signs asking what really happened during 9/11, a question Popa called “beautiful.”
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Marriage, going the way of the horse and carriage?

By Charles M. Blow
  • This month, the Pew Research Center published an analysis of census data showing that in 2019 the share of American adults who were neither married nor living with a partner had risen to 38%, and while that group "includes some adults who were previously married (those who are separated, divorced or widowed), all of the growth in the unpartnered population since 1990 has come from a rise in the number who have never been married."
  • We are nearing a time when there will be more unmarried adults in the United States than married ones, a development with enormous consequences for how we define family and adulthood in general, as well as how we structure taxation and benefits.
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Obama casts Virginia fall election as a historic turning point, but can his energy get enough Democrats to the polls?

By Gregory S. Schneider
  • Former president Barack Obama delivered a full-throated endorsement of Virginia's Democratic ticket here Saturday, describing next month's election as determining the state's future and setting an example for the nation.
  • Appearing alongside Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor, and a host of other candidates and officials, Obama provided a jolt of adrenaline for a party concerned with mustering voter turnout as the Nov. 2 election draws near.
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The dread of doomsday, then and now

By Peter M. Leschak
  • Ten thousand young people around the world were polled about a phenomenon dubbed "climate anxiety." In the face of dire tocsins about anthropogenic climate change and disruption, respondents said they felt helpless, depressed and doomed.
  • I was 8 years old and deeply relieved that Nikita was in the U.S. I knelt at my bedside and prayed he would stay for a long time, reasoning that while the Russian leader was here the Red Army couldn't and wouldn't launch a nuclear attack.
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