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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Florida gov blames coronavirus rise on 'overwhelmingly Hispanic' workers

Source: New York Post

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to clusters of “overwhelmingly Hispanic” day laborers and agriculture workers driving the state’s recent coronavirus spike — but farmworkers and industry associations argue that resources and testing came too late to those communities, according to new reports.

“Some of these guys go to work in a school bus, and they are all just packed there like sardines, going across Palm Beach County or some of these other places, and there’s all these opportunities to have transmission,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Tallahassee.

Florida on Thursday reported the largest single-day spike in coronavirus cases since the pandemic started.

The number of new infections in the Sunshine State soared to 3,207 — dwarfing its own previous highest single-day increase of 2,783 on Tuesday.

The record-high illness rate comes as some parts of the state report zero available ICU beds, and as scientists predict Florida has “all the markings” to become the new epicenter for the pandemic.

Read more: https://nypost.com/2020/06/19/desantis-blames-covid-spike-on-overwhelmingly-hispanic-laborers/

Florida Governor Ron de Santis and Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez during their 2018 campaign.

Nuñez was part of a massive de Santis effort to woo Cuban-Americans in 2018 - but amid 90,000 Covid cases and mounting, his tune has changed.

Brazil to exceed 1 million COVID-19 cases as virus rages

Brazil was on track to surpass 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, second only to the United States, with total deaths fast approaching 50,000 as the country struggles with a tense political climate and worsening economic outlook.

It has spread relentlessly across the continent-sized country, eroding support for right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro and raising fears of economic collapse after years of anemic growth.

The true extent of the outbreak in Brazil far exceeds official figures released after 6 p.m. (2100 GMT) on most evenings, according to many experts, who cite a lack of widespread testing in the country as a factor adding to many uncertainties about the disease.

“That number of 1 million is much less than the real number of people who have been infected, because there is under-reporting of a magnitude of five to ten times,” said Alexandre Naime Barbosa, a medical professor at the São Paulo State University.

The true number is probably at least 3 million and could even be as high as 10 million people.”

At: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil-idUSKBN23Q35R

São Paulo pedestrians throng a downtown shopping area on June 10th as the city re-opened amid the ongoing pandemic - partly due to pressure from President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil's new daily Covid-19 cases have exceeded the United States' for 15 of the last 23 days - despite testing rates of roughly one eighth that of the U.S.

Ian Holm, 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Chariots of Fire' star, dead at 88

Ian Holm, an actor best known for starring in Chariots of Fire and as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, has died at the age of 88.

Holm died Friday in the hospital surrounded by family, his agent confirmed to The Guardian, noting that his illness was Parkinson's related.

Holm was a longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and won a Tony award for portraying Lenny in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.

He started his film career in 1968 with an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Holm portrayed Ash, the decapitated android in 1979's Alien and was track coach Sam Mussabini in 1981's Chariots of Fire, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Holm was the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and appeared again as the character in 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 2014's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

At: https://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2020/06/19/Ian-Holm-Lord-of-the-Rings-and-Chariots-of-Fire-star-dead-at-88/5911592568711/

Sir Ian Holm, 1931-2020, as the amiable mismanager Mr. Kurtzman in Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

Wirecard chief executive resigns after 1.9 billion euro hole in the balance sheet discovered

Markus Braun has resigned as the chief executive of German payments processor Wirecard, a day after the company said it couldn’t account for roughly a quarter of the cash on its balance sheet.

In a terse statement, Wirecard WDI, -35.06%, WCAGY, -28.71%, said Braun resigned by mutual agreement and with immediate effect.

Banks have the ability to terminate €2 billion worth of loans if Wirecard can’t finalize its 2019 accounts on Friday, according to Wirecard. Analysts at UBS said that is likely a reference to a €1.75 billion syndicated loan, on which Wirecard has drawn down €1 billion.

Wirecard sold a €900 million convertible bond to SoftBank Group in April.

At: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/shares-of-wirecard-plunge-for-a-second-day-on-deadline-for-accounts-to-be-published-2020-06-19

Wirecard's Markus Braun: I know nothing.

Jean Kennedy Smith, last surviving sibling of JFK, dies at 92

Source: Los Angeles Times

Jean Kennedy Smith, a former ambassador to Ireland and champion of artists with disabilities who was the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy, has died, her daughter confirmed to The New York Times. She was 92.

Smith died Wednesday at her Manhattan home, her daughter Kym told the newspaper.

As the eighth of nine children of the prominent and famously Democratic Irish-American clan, she became the first Kennedy woman of her generation to hold a serious political job when she was named U.S. ambassador to Ireland in 1993.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/jean-kennedy-smith-last-surviving-sibling-of-jfk-dies-at-92/ar-BB15F6He

Jean Kennedy Smith, 1928-2020, with Vice President Joe Biden and Patrick J. Kennedy at the dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston in 2015.

Jim Bakker sued by second state for selling fake coronavirus cure

Arkansas' attorney general on Tuesday sued Missouri-based TV pastor Jim Bakker over his promotion of a product falsely touted as a cure for the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed the lawsuit in Arkansas against Bakker and Morningside Church Productions, less than three months after the state of Missouri filed a similar lawsuit.

Rutledge's lawsuit says 385 Arkansans made purchases from Bakker's company totaling approximately $60,524 for colloidal silver, a product often sold on the internet as a dietary supplement.

"Jim Bakker has exploited Arkansas consumers by leveraging COVID-19 fears to sell over $60,000 worth of their products that do nothing to fight the virus," Rutledge said in a statement released by her office.

At: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jim-bakker-sued-by-second-state-for-selling-fake-coronavirus-cure/

Jim Bakker's colloidal silver: Another one for his End Times bucket?

The Republicans' idea of "minority outreach"


Updated tenants law passed in Argentina

Argentina's Senate passed legislation yesterday establishing new laws governing rental agreements nationwide, replacing existing legislation signed in 1984.

The bill, known simply as the Tenants Law, was widely supported by tenants rights groups in Argentina - where over half the nation's 15 million households pay rent.

"Today, housing is closer to being a right - and to cease being a business deal," the National Federation of Tenants stated in a press release.

President Alberto Fernández's center-left Front for All coalition introduced the bill - which passed overwhelmingly in the Lower House on November 20, and in the Senate with 41 yeas to 29 abstentions.

No nays were registered because the right-wing Together for Change coalition - which supported the bill in the House - walked out of the Senate chamber in protest once its passage was assured.

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Fernández on March 29 suspended rent hikes or evictions for six months.

The keys

Argentina's new Tenants Law addresses numerous longstanding obstacles faced by many of its estimated 8-9 million tenants.

Tenants may now seek contracts of up to three years, rather than the current two year term. Landlords agreeing to renew contracts after three years, moreover, would be limited as to new rental rates by an inflation and wage index-linked formula.

Landlords often force tenants out by doubling rents for those requesting a renewal, in the expectation that a new tenant might agree to higher rates.

The power to rescind a contract with only three months' notice, without being subject to a fine, will likewise now shift from the landlord to the tenant - a change Ricardo Botana of the Argentine Tenants' Union supports because "between moving expenses and the fine, rescinding a contract had often been too costly for tenants."

Other benefits to tenants include a one month's security deposit limit, and added flexibility as to co-signatories - which are often required by Argentine landlords.

A National Social Rental Program to assist senior and low-income tenants will also be established, as well as federal tenants' rights ombudsmen in each province and metro area.

Landlords, in turn, won a longstanding demand: a codified and expedited eviction process, which would now take as little as ten days from notification.

Rental properties, however, must be registered at the Federal Revenue Agency (AFIP); fewer than half are now estimated to be registered.

A real estate survey by polling firm Market Analytics revealed that 80% of landlords, developers, agents and brokers were opposed to the Tenants Law - with a group of auctioneers and brokers warning in a recent ad that "with less supply, prices will rise."

"We are 9 million tenants who expect to rent fairly," Gervasio Muñoz of Tenants Group, responded. "It's been 36 years that Congress hadn't debated rental law. We are achieving a historic bill."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Fsociedad%2Fcongreso%2Fnueva-ley-de-alquileres-las-diez-claves-que-hay-que-saber-202061120320

Apartment buildings crowd the Buenos Aires cityscape, where the nation's highest property values and a severe shortage of mortgage credit force most residents to rent.

The Tenants Law passed yesterday by Argentina's Congress seeks to limit costs for tenants, while guaranteeing a minimum three-year contract for those who need it.

Sanders rejects dismantling police departments

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in this year's Democratic presidential nomination, rejected dismantling police departments, as Minneapolis seems poised to do, in an interview with The New Yorker published on Tuesday.

"There’s no city in the world that does not have police departments. What you need are — I didn’t call for more money for police departments. I called for police departments that have well-educated, well-trained, well-paid professionals," Sanders told The New Yorker.

"Anyone who thinks that we should abolish all police departments in America, I don’t agree."

Sanders, an independent from Vermont, wants to "redefine" police departments because officers often deal with people struggling with issues like mental illness or addiction that "should be dealt with by mental-health professionals."

At: https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/bernie-sanders-defund-police-reform

Sen Bernie Sanders: "What you need are police departments that have well-educated, well-trained, well-paid professionals."

Columbia police chief says officer's knee "shifted" during controversial protest arrest

Source: Free Times

Columbia’s police chief says an officer’s knee “unintentionally shifted” into an “incorrect position” in the midst of a May 30 arrest during protests in the Capital City.

A photo and videos had shown the officer had his knee placed against the back of the man’s neck.

The officer in question remains on duty, and the chief says he did not violate the department’s policy.

Read more: https://www.postandcourier.com/free-times/news/local_and_state_news/columbia-police-chief-says-officers-knee-shifted-during-controversial-protest-arrest/article_4afe120a-a9eb-11ea-a2f8-cf23221fbf80.html

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook, left, and Mayor Steve Benjamin: Accidentally shifted.
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