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January 1, Trump, Still Infectious, Back at White House — Without Mask



This Day in History | 1866

John and Simeon Reno stage the first train robbery in American history in Jackson County, Indiana. They got away with $13,000 from an Ohio and Mississippi railroad train.

They carried out the first three peacetime train robberies in U.S. history. Most of the stolen money was never recovered.

The gang was broken up by the lynchings of ten of its members by vigilante mobs in 1868. 

Good Morning Middle American, 

He’s baaack. 

-Read All about it. 

Fraser Dixon

Trump, Still Infectious, Back at White House — Without Mask

(AP) — President Donald Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House after leaving the military hospital where he was receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19. He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans — and then he entered the White House without a protective mask.

Trump’s message alarmed infectious disease experts and suggested the president’s own illness had not caused him to rethink his often-cavalier attitude toward the disease, which has also infected the first lady and several White House aides, including new cases revealed Monday.

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Nearly 4 Million Americans Have Already Voted, Suggesting Record Election Turnout

(Reuters) – Americans are rushing to cast ballots ahead of the November election at an unprecedented pace, early voting numbers show, indicating a possible record turnout for the showdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.

With four weeks to go before Election Day Nov. 3, more than 3.8 million Americans already have voted, far surpassing about 75,000 at this time in 2016, according to the U.S. Elections Project, which compiles early voting data.

The shift has been driven by an expansion of early and mail-in voting in many states as a safe way to cast a ballot during the coronavirus pandemic and an eagerness to weigh in on the political future of Trump, said Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who administers the project.

“We’ve never seen this many people voting so far ahead of an election,” McDonald said. “People cast their ballots when they make up their minds, and we know that many people made up their minds long ago and already have a judgment about Trump.”

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The Pope Just Called Private Property a ‘Secondary Right.’ He Couldn’t Be More Wrong

(Washington Post) – Humankind, Pope Francis says, is in the midst of a worrying regression. People are intensely polarized. Their debates, absent real listening, seem to have devolved into a “permanent state of disagreement and confrontation.” In some countries, leaders are using a “strategy of ridicule” and relentless criticism, spreading despair as a way to “dominate and gain control.”

Amid all that, the pope says, the notion of a kinder, more respecting world “sounds like madness.”

But with the release Sunday of his third encyclical, a book-length paper that feels like something from a bygone time, Francis makes an uncynical case for how people can reverse course. The document amounts to a papal stand against tribalism, xenophobia, and the dangers of the social media age. It also marks a test for Francis in the eighth year of his papacy, at a time when his message has become familiar, and is often overshadowed by the louder voices he warns about.

Fight breaks out on plane after passenger refuses to wear face mask

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Authorities Determine Wisconsin Hate Crime Never Occurred

(Wisconsin State Journal) – Madison police announced Friday they have not been able to corroborate allegations made by a biracial Monona woman that she was burned by four white men in Downtown Madison in June in what was initially reported as a hate crime and garnered national and international attention.

Althea Bernstein, 18, told police someone sprayed lighter fluid on her and set her on fire in the early morning hours of June 24 after one of the men yelled a racial epithet.

But on Friday, the police department said it was closing the case because “after an exhaustive probe, detectives were unable to corroborate or locate evidence consistent with what was reported.”

The case was also investigated by the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and in its own statement Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin said “after reviewing all available evidence, authorities could not establish that the attack, as alleged by the complainant, had occurred.”

 “Good Morning America” two days after she reported the incident, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of the British royal family reached out to her as well. Madison and Dane County officials had also condemned the alleged attack, with Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway calling it “a horrifying and absolutely unacceptable crime that … may have been a premeditated crime targeted toward people of color.”

Despite the investigation’s findings, acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl said his department is not recommending Bernstein be charged with obstructing an officer, which can apply in cases in which a person makes a false police report. A representative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office was not available for comment, but Wahl said he doubted it would pursue charges against Bernstein, either.Find out more here

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