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3 Aug
U.S. gymnast Simone Biles won the bronze medal on the balance beam at the Olympics on Tuesday after returning to competition following a week-long break for her mental health.
It was her last event of the Tokyo Games and potentially her last Olympic appearance ever, unless she continues her career at the 2024 Games in Paris.
'This one is definitely sweeter,' Biles said of the bronze medal win. Biles now has 7 Olympic medals, tying with Shannon Miller for the most won by an American gymnast.
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3 Aug
In a guest essay for The New York Times, Alex Azar, former secretary of health and human services, expressed his frustration with vaccine hesitancy.
‘The reluctance and even refusal of many Americans — including many of my fellow conservatives and Republicans — to get a Covid-19 vaccine is a frustrating irony for those of us who worked to expedite these vaccines,’ Azar said.
Azar cited the Trump administration’s efforts to fast-track vaccine authorization through Operation Warp Speed.
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2 Aug
Quinn, a 25-year-old midfielder for the Canadian women’s national soccer team, is set to become the first out transgender and/or non-binary athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Canada defeated the U.S. national team on Monday, ensuring they will finish the Tokyo Games with either a gold or silver medal. Quinn, who plays professionally for the NWSL club OL Reign, also won a medal with Canada at the 2016 Games in Rio, but they were not out at the time.
‘[I’m] getting messages from young people saying they’ve never seen a trans person in sports before,’ Quinn said after the team’s victory on Monday, via CBC.
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2 Aug
Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN's Brian Stelter that she sees similarities between cult leader Jim Jones and former President Donald Trump.
Jones commanded a cult known as the Peoples Temple, which fled San Francisco in the 1970s to Guyana. In Guyana, they established their own community, Jonestown. And, coming from Speier personally, that comparison is particularly noteworthy.
In 1978, Speier was a 28-year-old aide to Rep. Leo Ryan of California. Ryan, Speier, and several others traveled to Jonestown to inspect the compound and investigate allegations of abuse against Jones.
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2 Aug
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is being criticized after a photo surfaced of her at an indoor wedding reception without a mask, potentially in violation of her own executive mask order.
Tiana Lowe of the Washington Examiner first surfaced the photo. On July 29, Mayor Bowser announced D.C. would be readopting an indoor mask mandate, effective Saturday, July 31. Daily averages of new COVID-19 cases in D.C. have spiked sharply in recent days.
Bowser reportedly officiated the wedding, with the ceremony itself being held outdoors. Bowser's reps, however, have pushed back against claims she violated her own policy, claiming the photo was taken when the mayor was eating during the wedding's dinner portion.
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2 Aug
Sen. @BernieSanders (I-VT) tried to harness the power of an iconic meme to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.
@BernieSanders ‘I am once against asking you to get vaccinated,’ Sanders tweeted on Monday, invoking the language of a 2019 meme.
@BernieSanders The meme was created from a fundraising ad released by his campaign, featuring Sanders in a heavy winter coat and text that read, ‘I am once again asking for your financial support.’
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2 Aug
U.S. athlete Raven Saunders took silver in the women’s shot put on Saturday. She then used her moment on the Olympic podium to raise her arms into an X. Saunders says the gesture symbolized ‘the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet,’ per the AP.
‘For me, just being who I always aspired to be, to be able to be me and not apologize for it (and) show the younger generation that no matter what they tell you, no matter how many boxes they try to fit you in, you can be you,’ Saunders said later to the media, via CNN.
Saunders is reportedly now being investigated by the IOC over her demonstration.
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2 Aug
Simone Biles will return for one last event at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Monday.
Biles will compete in the balance beam final on Tuesday, the final women's gymnastics event of this year's games and what could ultimately be the final event of Biles' Olympic career.
Biles previously decided to withdraw from multiple events earlier in the Olympics to prioritize her mental health.
Read 7 tweets
30 Jul
Oceanographers found the real-life SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star hanging out together on a rock at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration camera was filming the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the New England coast when a yellow sponge appeared aside a pink starfish.
Scientist Christopher Mah was quick to point out jokingly that the creatures mirrored the cartoon icons.
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30 Jul
In a memorandum released on Friday, a Department of Justice official said that the Treasury Department 'must comply' with a House committee’s request for the release of former Pres. Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The request, sent to the Treasury Department by Ways & Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA), for Trump’s taxes between the years 2015 and 2020 was sent in June 2021.
Previous attempts to force Trump to release tax returns—by committee request and by subpoena—have been ignored or litigated by the former president. In its Friday memo, the DOJ said the Treasury Department is obliged to turn over the requested tax documents.
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30 Jul
John Lewis was ‘the best example of humanity we have been graced with in so many years,’ Stacey Abrams said of her friend and mentor John Lewis at a celebration of the life and legacy of the late congressman.
It has been just over a year since Lewis died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Lewis, known as the ‘conscience of the Congress’ on Capitol Hill, was a noted civil rights activist, having organized with Martin Luther King Jr.
He was beat by Alabama police after walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 during a voting rights march and demonstration.
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30 Jul
Speaker Pelosi enrolled H.R. 3237, the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, on Friday, a legislative procedural move that marks an agreement between the two chambers.
The bill, which allocates $1.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding for the Congressional bodies and law enforcement agencies, like the Capitol Police and the Architect of the Capitol, to respond to the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The bill, which includes funding for security upgrades and repairs to the facility, among other measures, passed the House in May, though no Republican representative voted for it.
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30 Jul
Simone Biles has spoken out after facing criticism for her decision to pull out of the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
'For anyone saying I quit. I didn't quit [—] my mind & body are simply not in sync,' wrote Biles in an Instagram story.
Biles said she has been suffering from the 'twisties,' which is a disorientation experienced by gymnasts that she described by saying she 'literally can not tell up from down.' Feeling it would be unsafe for her to compete, she said she had no choice but to withdraw.
Read 4 tweets
30 Jul
President Joe Biden is prepared to accept an award on behalf of his late son, Beau, from Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani, according to The Hill.
The award, the Presidential Medal on the Rule of Law, recognizes Beau’s efforts to improve Kosovo’s justice system while he served in the U.S. National Guard in 2001.
While the country recovered from war, Beau Biden worked with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to train local judges and prosecutors.
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30 Jul
Last night, the NBA honored late Kentucky guard Terrence Clarke with an honorary first-round pick in the NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Clarke’s mother and siblings were invited on stage for the emotional moment. 19-year-old Clarke died in a car crash in April in Los Angeles, California, after leaving a workout.
The former Kentucky Wildcats player declared for the NBA draft in March and was projected to go as a second-round pick, as reported by ESPN. Clarke's mother, Osmine, discussed with ESPN in an interview aired after the ceremony how excited her son was to go into the NBA.
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30 Jul
On July 28, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the CUNY Comeback Program, which will forgive up to $125M in unpaid debt for at least 50,000 students.
The program will be funded through President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, which includes federal assistance for students financially recovering from the pandemic, and other federal stimulus funds.
Students are eligible for the relief if they were enrolled at a CUNY college from March 13, 2020—the day the pandemic was declared a nat'l emergency—to spring 2021.
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30 Jul
This video shows two African wild dog parents returning to a den full of hungry pups.
Ecotourism operator Working with Wildlife shot the rare footage on its private game reserve in the South African portion of the Kalahari Desert.
African wild dogs are one of the world’s most endangered animals. For at least the last 30 years, human encroachment has taken a serious toll on the animal’s numbers.
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30 Jul
A ‘group of unmasked Republican staffers’ were caught congregating in the hallways of the Rayburn House Office Building. In photos captured by Aaron Fritschner, communications director for Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), staffers appear to be playing water pong and socializing closely.
‘I don't know why these people felt the need to do this here,’ Fritschner wrote on Twitter, ‘but it is terrible and horrifying that displays of decadent apathy are all these people can summon at a time when people are getting sick and dying.’
On Tuesday, Capitol attending physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan reinstated a mask mandate for ‘enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space’ in response to CDC guidance regarding research into the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.
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30 Jul
The first group of U.S.-affiliated Afghans and their families arrived at Fort Lee, Virginia, on Friday, following an operation to evacuate some 200 people out of Afghanistan as part of Operation Allies Refuge.
As the deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan approaches, the Biden administration drew criticism from lawmakers & veterans groups for how slowly Afghans who assisted U.S. troops during military operations there were being processed for special immigrant visas.
Critics warn that leaving those allies behind could leave them and their families vulnerable to retaliation from the Taliban.
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30 Jul
President Joe Biden visited first lady Jill Biden on Thursday evening at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where she was recovering from a ‘successful procedure.’
According to Michael LaRosa, press secretary for the first lady, Jill Biden had ‘stepped on an object on the beach which became lodged in her left foot’ during a visit to Hawaii, where she stopped for official events.
The stop in Hawaii included a visit to pop-up vaccination clinics on her trip back from attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Tokyo.
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29 Jul
A Spanish judge has recommended that Shakira stand trial for alleged tax evasion in Spain.
Spanish prosecutors initially charged the 'Hips Don't Lie' singer with failing to pay approx €14.5M ($17.2M) in taxes between 2012-14.
According to the Associated Press, Judge Marco Juberías stated he conducted a three-year investigation, which found 'sufficient evidence of criminality' to justify a trial against Shakira.
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