AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT

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    <p>Profile of a killer: Unraveling the deadly new coronavirus</p> <p>NEW YORK (AP) – What is this enemy?</p> <p>Seven months after the first patients were hospitalized in China battling an infection doctors had never seen before, the world´s scientists and citizens have reached an unsettling crossroads.</p> <p>Countless hours of treatment and research, trial and error now make it possible to take much closer measure of the new coronavirus and the lethal disease it has unleashed.

    But to take advantage of that intelligence, we must confront our persistent vulnerability: The virus leaves no choice.</p> <p>”It´s like we´re in a battle with something that we can´t see, that we don´t know, and we don´t know where it´s coming from,” said Vivian Castro, a nurse supervisor at St.
    Joseph´s Medical Center in Yonkers, just north of New York City, which struggled with its caseload this spring.</p> <p>Castro had treated scores of infected patients before she, too, was hospitalized for the virus in April, then spent two weeks in home quarantine.

    As soon as she returned to the emergency room for her first shift, she rushed to comfort yet another casualty — a man swallowing the few words he could muster between gasps for air.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Confirmed US virus cases rise amid new global restrictions</p> <p>MIAMI (AP) – California, Arizona, Texas and Florida together reported about 36,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday as restrictions aimed at combating the spread of the pandemic took hold in the United States and around the world in an unsettling sign reminiscent of the dark days of April.</p> <p>Despite the restrictions, soaring counts of confirmed infections and a mounting death toll, thousands of auto-racing fans gathered at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for a NASCAR event.

    Officials allowed 30,000 at the track, and the event marked the largest sporting event since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. four months ago.</p> <p>But there were continuing signs that a return to normalcy may be further off than many leaders had envisioned just weeks ago.</p> <p>California, Arizona, Florida and Texas reported a total of more than 450 new deaths.
    Alabama reported a pandemic-high one-day total of 40 deaths, and officials said the state will begin requiring face masks.</p> <p>In Texas, which again set a record for confirmed new cases, with nearly 10,800, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has increasingly emphasized face coverings as the way to avoid another lockdown, which he hasn’t ruled out.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Coronavirus data is funneled away from CDC, sparking worries</p> <p>NEW YORK (AP) – Hospital data related to the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

    will now be collected by a private technology firm, rather than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – a move the Trump administration says will speed up reporting but one that concerns some public health leaders.</p> <p>The CDC director said Wednesday that he’s fine with the change – even though some experts fear it will further sideline the agency.</p> <p>The CDC has agreed to step out of the government’s traditional data collection process “in order to streamline reporting,” Dr.

    Robert Redfield said during a call with reporters set up by the agency’s parent, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.</p> <p>HHS officials recently posted a document on the agency’s website that redirected hospitals’ daily reporting of a range of data meant to assess the impact of the coronavirus on them.
    TeleTracking Technologies, based in Pittsburgh, will now collect that information.</p> <p>However, if hospitals are already directly reporting to state health departments, they can get a written release from the state to keep doing that.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Trump replaces campaign manager amid sinking poll numbers</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump shook up his campaign staff Wednesday amid sinking poll numbers, replacing campaign manager Brad Parscale with veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien.</p> <p>Trump and 우리카지노계열 Parscale´s relationship had been strained since a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally that drew an unexpectedly low crowd, infuriating the president.

    Trump has been struggling in his reelection campaign against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as the country faces health and economic crises during a pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 Americans.</p> <p>Trump announced the move on Facebook late Wednesday.
    “I am pleased to announce that Bill Stepien has been promoted to the role of Trump Campaign Manager,” he said. “Brad Parscale, who has been with me for a very long time and has led our tremendous digital and data strategies, will remain in that role, while being a Senior Advisor to the campaign.”</p> <p>The shakeup injected familiar turmoil to Trump´s 2020 campaign, which had so far largely avoided the regular staff churn that dominated the president´s 2016 campaign and his White House.

    But the staff change might not alter the day-to-day running of the campaign.</p> <p>Parscale, a political novice, ran Trump´s digital advertising in 2016 and was credited with helping bring about his surprise victory that year. Stepien has been in politics for years, working for former New Jersey Gov.
    Chris Christie and serving as Trump´s national field director in 2016.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Congress eyes new virus aid as school, health crisis deepens</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AP) – Two months after House Democrats approved a $3 trillion COVID-19 aid package, Senate Republicans are poised to unveil their $1 trillion counteroffer, straining to keep spending in check as the virus outbreak spreads and societal fallout deepens.</p> <p>Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is expected to roll out the GOP bill as soon as next week, said Wednesday that he conferred with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as the White House’s point man on the talks prepares to negotiate with Democrats.</p> <p>But having hit “pause” in May, as McConnell put it, Republicans now face a potentially more dire situation. They had hoped the pandemic would ease and the economic fallout would reverse.

    Instead, sm카지노 coronavirus cases are spiking, states are resuming shutdowns and parents are wondering if it’s safe to send children back to school.</p> <p>”Regretfully, this is not over,” McConnell said during a visit to a hospital in Kentucky.</p> <p>”There were some that hoped this would go away sooner than it has,” he said, urging residents to wear masks and social distance.</p> <p>___</p> <p>87 protesters arrested at Kentucky attorney general’s home</p> <p>LOUISVILLE, Ky.

    (AP) – Eighty-seven demonstrators who gathered at the home of Kentucky´s attorney general to demand justice for Breonna Taylor have been arrested and charged with a felony for trying to “intimidate” the prosecutor, police said.</p> <p>Protesters with the social justice organization Until Freedom gathered for a sit-in on the front yard of a Louisville home owned by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday afternoon, news outlets reported.</p> <p>They were arrested after refusing to leave and – having been instructed beforehand by protest organizers not to resist – could be seen lining up to await their transfer to jail.</p> <p>Among those arrested were NFL player Kenny Stills, a wide receiver for the Houston Texans, and Porsha Williams of “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Several of the protesters were released from jail on Wednesday afternoon.</p> <p>Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot when police officers burst into her Louisville apartment using a no-knock warrant in the early morning hours of March 13 during a narcotics investigation. The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found inside.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Mail delays likely as new postal boss pushes cost-cutting</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AP) – Mail deliveries could be delayed by a day or more under cost-cutting efforts being imposed by the new postmaster general.

    The plan eliminates overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers and says employees must adopt a “different mindset” to ensure the Postal Service´s survival during the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>Late trips will no longer be authorized. If postal distribution centers are running late, “they will keep the mail for the next day,” Postal Service leaders say in a document obtained by The Associated Press. “One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that – temporarily – we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks,” another document says.</p> <p>The changes come a month after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump, took over the sprawling mail service.

    In a memo titled “PMG Expectations and Plan,” the agency said the changes are aimed at “making the USPS fundamentally solvent which we are not at this time.”</p> <p>The memo cites deep revenue losses from a decadelong decline in mail deliveries that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and says an overdue “operational pivot” is needed to ensure the agency’s health and stability.</p> <p>Postal Service officials, bracing for steep losses from the nationwide shutdown caused by the virus, have warned they will run out of money by the end of September without help from Congress.

    The service reported a $4.5 billion loss for the quarter ending in March, before the full effects of the shutdown sank in.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Climate change makes freak Siberian heat 600 times likelier</p> <p>Nearly impossible without man-made global warming, this year´s freak Siberian heat wave is producing climate change´s most flagrant footprint of extreme weather, a new flash study says.</p> <p>International scientists released a study Wednesday that found the greenhouse effect multiplied the chance of the region´s prolonged heat by at least 600 times, and maybe tens of thousands of times.

    In the study, which has not yet gone through peer review, the team looked at Siberia from January to June, including a day that hit 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) for a new Arctic record.</p> <p>Scientists from the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland used 70 climate models running thousands of complex simulations comparing current conditions to a world without man-made warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

    They found that without climate change the type of prolonged heat that hit Siberia would happen once in 80,000 years, “effectively impossible without human influence,” said study lead author Andrew Ciavarella, a scientist at the UK Met Office.</p> <p>This study, coordinated by World Weather Attribution, was done in two weeks and hasn´t yet been put through the microscope of peer review and published in a major scientific journal.

    But the researchers who specialize in these real-time studies to search for fingerprints of climate change in extreme events usually do get their work later published in a peer-reviewed journal and use methods that outside scientists say are standard and proven. World Weather Attribution´s past work has found some weather extremes were not triggered by climate change.</p> <p>But 2020´s Siberian heat wave stood out among the many studied, said attribution team co-lead Friederike Otto, acting director of Oxford University´s Environmental Change Institute.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Biden, Gates, other Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam</p> <p>Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam.</p> <p>The ruse included bogus tweets from former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

    Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked. The fake tweets tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.</p> <p>There is no evidence that the owners of these accounts were targeted themselves. Instead, the hacks appeared designed to lure their Twitter followers into sending money to an anonymous Bitcoin account.
    The Biden campaign, for instance, said that Twitter’s integrity team “locked down the account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweet.”</p> <p>Obama’s office had no immediate comment. The FBI said it was aware of Twitter’s security breach, but declined further comment.</p> <p>In a tweet, Twitter noted that it was aware of a “security incident impacting accounts on Twitter.” The San Francisco company said it is investigating and promised an update shortly.

    It did not reply immediately to requests for comment.</p> <p>___</p> <p>’Magic School Bus’ author Joanna Cole dies at age 75</p> <p>NEW YORK (AP) – Author Joanna Cole, whose “Magic School Bus” books transported millions of young people on extraordinary and educational adventures, has died at age 75.</p> <p>Scholastic announced that Cole, a resident of Sioux City, Iowa, died Sunday.
    The cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.</p> <p>”Joanna Cole had the perfect touch for blending science and story,” Scholastic Chairman and CEO Dick Robinson said in a statement Wednesday. “Joanna´s books, packed with equal parts humor and information, made science both easy to understand and fun for the hundreds of millions of children around the world who read her books and watched the award-winning television series.”</p> <p>The idea for “The Magic School Bus” came in the mid-1980s.

    Scholastic senior editorial director Craig Walker was receiving frequent requests from teachers for books about science and thought a combination of storytelling and science would catch on. He brought in Cole, whose humorous work such as the children´s book “Cockroaches” he had admired, and illustrator Bruce Degen. With the ever maddening but inspired Ms.
    Frizzle leading her students on journeys that explored everything from the solar system to underwater, “Magic School Bus” books have sold tens of millions of copies and were the basis for a popular animated TV series and a Netflix series. Plans for a live-action movie, with Elizabeth Banks as Ms.

    Frizzle, were announced last month. Ms. Frizzle was based in part on a fifth-grade teacher of Cole’s.</p> <p>”I think for Joanna the excitement was always in the idea. What? Why? How?” Degen said in a statement. “And with “The Magic School Bus” it was how to explain it so that it is accurate and in a form that a kid can understand and use. And you can actually joke around while you are learning. She had a rare sense of what could be humorous.”</p></div>

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