Senate fails to advance $300B relief bill; FDA pledges not to rush vaccine; evidence of cat infections

Laveta Brigham

The Senate failed to advance a slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill Thursday that senators on both sides had acknowledged was unlikely to muster the votes to pass the chamber.

The bill was defeated in a 52-47 vote, and one Republican, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted with Democrats in opposing the bill. 

The estimated $300 billion proposal, dubbed the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act, included bolstered unemployment benefits, funding for schools and liability protections for businesses and health care facilities. Its failure leaves little chance a stimulus bill will pass Congress before the November election.

Meanwhile, universities across the country also continue to contend with COVID-19 challenges. The University of Wyoming on Wednesday extended its fall return for the second time in a week, while the University of Wisconsin-Madison shifted to online education for two weeks.

Some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more

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I Had Passive Suicidal Ideation. Here’s What Everyone Should Know

Laveta Brigham

Life has hardly been easy lately. COVID-19 has catapulted even the mentally healthiest among us into fear or anxiety, and some warn that a global mental health crisis is looming. I consider it a gift, then, that it’s been a long time since I thought about not wanting to live.

Passive suicidal ideation — thinking about, but not planning, one’s own death — became a familiar coping mechanism between my late teens, and it persisted into my late twenties. I’ve never actively wanted to die. Most days, I enjoyed my life. I was invested in my plans and looked forward to the future. But every now and then, when things were particularly difficult, I wanted to close my eyes and disappear. Thinking about no longer existing was like an emotional reflex, something I sometimes defaulted to when faced with internal pain.

I’m not alone, yet this subject is infrequently talked

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Blue staters make their case in satirical ‘Coastal Elites’

Laveta Brigham

NEW YORK (AP) — Playwright Paul Rudnick has never been comfortable with the term “coastal elites,” that sneering nod to educated professionals who live in California cities or along the Eastern seaboard.

“What’s always bothered me is a sense that the coastal elites are not Americans — that they’re not citizens, that they don’t count,” says Rudnick. “No. If you’re going to listen to everyone in the Midwest, then you have to listen to the coasts as well. We are all in this country together.”

Rudnick has not so much leaned into the term as he has driven a truck through it for the HBO special “Coast Elites,” a collection of five monologues starring Bette Midler, Sarah Paulson, Issa Rae, Dan Levy and Kaitlyn Dever. They may play stressed-out liberals but they’re so much more than stereotypes.

“There are elements of truth, but there is also an enormous variety in

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new UK scheme risks running a repeat of ID card controversy

Laveta Brigham

  <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/log-profile-enter-global-icon-concept-386811184" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rawpixel/Shutterstock">Rawpixel/Shutterstock</a></span>
Rawpixel/Shutterstock

Is the UK government planning to revive identity cards for the internet age? The decision to scrap its national ID cards and database in 2010 means the UK is one of the few developed countries not to have such an identity scheme. While this was seen as a victory for civil liberties campaigners, some now argue that the lack of a simple way to prove who you are, especially online, is holding back the digital economy and improvements to public services.

With this in mind, the government recently announced plans to pave the way for a new digital identity scheme, which some media outlets have called digital ID cards.

In reality, there’s no single agreed definition of what a digital ID is or looks like, so saying the new system will be similar to the unpopular card scheme is misleading. However, the UK government is a long way from

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Trump says he downplayed danger; Senate to vote on $300B relief bill; layoffs persist

Laveta Brigham

The Senate will vote on a slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill Thursday that Democrats are expected to block.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the plan – which doesn’t include a second stimulus check – an “emaciated bill.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “optimistic” Republicans would support it.

The estimated $300 billion proposal, dubbed the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act, includes bolstered unemployment benefits, funding for schools and liability protections for businesses and health care facilities.

And universities across the country continue to contend with COVID-19 challenges. The University of Wyoming on Wednesday extended its fall return for the second time in a week, while the University of Wisconsin-Madison shifted to online education for two weeks.

Some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 6.3 million confirmed cases and more than 190,000 deaths,

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Miami-Dade School Board votes to cut ties with K12 online learning platform

Laveta Brigham

The Miami-Dade County School Board has voted unanimously to stop using My School Online, the district’s controversial new online learning platform many say is at the center of the failed start of school.

The board voted to sever ties just before 2 a.m. Thursday, 13 hours after the meeting began. Teachers can begin using other platforms immediately.

The early morning decision sent some elementary schools into a scramble. Some schools that never used Microsoft Teams, like Bob Graham Education Center, were caught off guard and quickly went to work to set up Zoom meetings to find a way to educate students.

The School Board debate and vote stretched into the middle of the night because members had to finish public comment on Vice Chair Steve Gallon’s catch-all proposal to get to the bottom of what went wrong. In the first board meeting since school began Aug. 31, nearly 400 teachers

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Is It Worth Getting Your Home Professionally Organized?

Laveta Brigham

Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill

The more time I dwell at home dodging a global pandemic and responding to emails from my kitchen table, the more I face a brutal realization: I’m not organized. The dysfunctional junk drawer in my entryway — with its myriad of prized items including hand sanitizer, a signed copy of Taylor Swift’s Red album, and the spare key to my car — says it all. But, despite being crafty, I can’t seem to create a stylish and functional oasis on my own.

When influencer couple Aspyn Ovard and Parker Ferris posted a vlog of their kitchen getting professionally organized on YouTube, it was clear I don’t have to create that oasis on my own. My townhouse can feel as magical as the abodes on Pinterest, and my lifestyle can follow suit. I just need the expertise of a magical fairy with an influencer-like eye for

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Biden lavishes time and money on key industrial states, but hasn’t locked them down yet

Laveta Brigham

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigns in Warren, Mich., on Wednesday. <span class="copyright">(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)</span>
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaigns in Warren, Mich., on Wednesday. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

The worst strategic mistake Hillary Clinton made in her 2016 campaign for president, many analysts believe, was overconfidence about three states Democrats had won in every presidential election since 1992 — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

No one is going to accuse Joe Biden of taking those states for granted.

The Democrats’ presidential nominee is showering money, staff and time over those states — the “blue wall” that crumbled when Donald Trump’s victories by tiny margins in all three propelled him to the White House.

By this weekend, Biden will have made five trips to those battleground states in less than two weeks.

He traipsed across Pennsylvania as he began venturing from quarantine in his Delaware home last month. On Friday, both he and Trump are scheduled to be in the state at the very

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Why our screens leave us hungry for more nutritious forms of social interaction

Laveta Brigham

  <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/facial-expression-female-teenager-screaming-while-564380758" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shutterstock/LukyToky">Shutterstock/LukyToky</a></span>
Shutterstock/LukyToky

COVID-19 has seen all the rules change when it comes to social engagement. Workplaces and schools have closed, gatherings have been banned, and the use of social media and other online tools has risen to bridge the gap.

But as we continue to adapt to the various restrictions, we should remember that social media is the refined sugar of social interaction. In the same way that producing a bowl of white granules means removing minerals and vitamins from the sugarcane plant, social media strips out many valuable and sometimes necessarily challenging parts of “whole” human communication.

Fundamentally, social media dispenses with the nuance of dealing with a person in the flesh and all the signalling complexities of body language, vocal tone and speed of utterance. The immediacy and anonymity of social media also remove the (healthy) challenges of paying attention, properly processing information and responding with civility.

As a

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Counterfeits Soar as Ath-leisure Dominates Online Quarantine Purchases

Laveta Brigham

As consumers settled in at home due to quarantine, online sales of activewear and sporting equipment have notably come out on top. According to Allied Market Research, the global activewear market is now expected to be worth nearly $547 billion by 2024.

Further, a new survey conducted by Red Points, the brand protection firm, found on average consumers have spent $265 more on sporting gear and equipment during quarantine than they otherwise would have. The survey also revealed half of consumers have purchased counterfeit items within the category, both purposefully and accidentally.

More from WWD

Of those who purchased counterfeit items within the sporting goods category the company fund nearly 30 percent had purchased cardio equipment, 22 percent purchased yoga and flexing equipment and 19 percent purchased apparel and accessories.

“I was shocked by 50 percent of people buying counterfeits and secondarily shocked that almost 30 percent bought it knowingly,”

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